Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: bad bosses and hardy flowers

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week she recounts tales of bad bosses and the lessons learned.

Many many years ago, I ended up having a conversation about how unhappy I was in my job with a friend’s New Age new boyfriend.

I was saying I did not know how to handle my boss’ mood swings, cruel ways and confrontational style. I was saying I was ready to walk and that it felt like giving up and giving in, but even the thought of going to work made me unhappy and stressed and nervous.

And was it worth it? It affected my days at work and beyond. It was eating away at me. But I am not a “throwing in the towel” kind of girl and the urge to fight on was keeping me fighting on.

And he said, “a flower can push through concrete. But it doesn’t have to. What will you really get out of this if you persevere that is worth persevering for?”


I learned my lesson through this. But the learning didn’t come that day.

It came slowly. In waves. With distance.

A survival trait forging a bad habit, a habit formed under harsh conditions that was hard to shed. I shed it. In the end. But it took time and effort and a string of great bosses to get there.

One of whom once answered my question of “how do you deal with a bad boss” with the last thing I expected to hear: “you get away from them”.

Their inadequacies as humans are not yours to fix or carry.

The workplace needs to give you more than your salary. A bad boss doesn’t. You owe it to yourself to move away. What an incredibly, deliciously revolutionary thought.

Bring your whole self to work

Those were the words of my boss a few years later.

What do you mean? I asked, slightly defensive, hearing a criticism and not an invitation. Thinking “here we go again”, reliving experiences I thought I had left behind. But he smiled and persisted.

You are more than what you do. You are robbing yourself by not bringing your whole self to work.

Bring your whole self to work. The crazy. The insecure. The intense. The angry.

You are more than what you do. And you are here most of each day, most days a week. You are robbing yourself by not bringing your whole self to work. You are also robbing us. Man. No, I said. My whole self is intense. It says no, and are you nuts and WTF a lot. It tolerates no stupidity, no lack of integrity, no compromise to core values. And has no time for people looking for excuses. My whole self is a pain in the proverbial.

Good, he said. Bring her to work, I look forward to meeting her.

But I had been burnt before. So I didn’t take him at face value immediately.

So he asked again. And again. And again. Until tentatively I started trying. Then a little more. And when the sky didn’t fall, a little more still.

It was amazing. It was liberating. It was restful.

And it accelerated my career.

It turned out being happy at work also made me better at my job.

It turned out that moving away from bad bosses was not good advice, it was essential advice.

It turned out a flower can push through concrete. But it doesn’t have to. And it is probably shouldn’t even try. It should consider its options and go somewhere more giving.

Somewhere where it can bring its whole self to work.

Read the whole story at Fintech Futures.