How To!

How To Stand Up to Your Terrible Manager—Without Getting Fired

Netflix’s former chief talent officer on how to handle a bad boss.


Episode Notes

Shirley loves her job as a product manager for a startup, but she can’t stand her manager. He’s inefficient, old-fashioned, and entirely unsupportive of her work. “Just so you know, you don’t deserve this,” he told Shirley when she recently got promoted. Is there anything Shirley can do to make her work situation better? On this episode of How To, we bring on Patty McCord, former chief talent officer for Netflix and author of Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, to give Shirley some tips. Shirley ought to approach the situation the same way she would any product she works on: “Be the person that is the problem fixer, not the problem finder,” says Patty. Complaining or staging a coup will go nowhere, but approaching your manager with tangible solutions for improving your relationship could make a difference.

If you liked this episode, check out: “How To Get That Promotion You Deserve.”

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John, Rachael Allen, and Rosemary Belson.


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace take on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, find the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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