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Commentary Detail

Expect Younger Bosses and Accept Them Gracefully
Commentary by: Anna Navarro
Aired June 23, 2008

Traditionally, we think of bosses as people who are older and more experienced. But what if they aren’t?

Peter was 55 and expected to be promoted to department head when his boss retired. He was outraged when instead he found himself reporting to a 34-year-old.

At first he thought he’d have to leave. But he was well compensated, enjoyed perks like a 6-week vacation and basically liked his work as the star salesperson in the department. Plus, he’d undoubtedly have a higher retirement income if he stayed

These factors led him to explore how to adjust to the situation. To do that, he had to find a way to deal with his anger and pain.

He decided to use “emotional freedom techniques”, or EFT, a self-help approach. It’s based on tapping acupuncture points and doing rapid eye movements while focussing on problems. He was skeptical at first, but soon learned these techniques were highly effective.

He used them to cope with embarrassment at being passed over, fury at having to report to the younger person, hurt at not being promoted and similar issues. In a few weeks, he worked through most of the emotional fallout of the experience.

In time he realized leading the department through the changes that were underway didn’t look like much fun. He was actually happier being the star sales performer than he would have been as boss. Getting to that point required hard work and acceptance, but the payoff was he kept a job he genuinely liked with excellent compensation and benefits.

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

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Anna Navarro

Anna Navarro


Anna Navarro is the founder of Work Transitions, a nationwide organization dedicated to helping individuals find satisfaction and fulfillment in their work.


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