It’s not your breath keeping you on the outskirts. Suddenly your boss invites your second-in-command to meetings that you usually attend…but forgets to ask you. Or your office is abruptly relocated two floors away from the C-suite or your department’s power alley. Or you are transferred to Novosibirsk or Chisinau, Moldova, with a glorious opportunity to build a brand new market…and report back in five years.
Your organization chart is rerouted. You now have to report to somebody with much less clout or stature than your last chief. Perhaps your new boss is the outfit’s Attila the Hun, who specializes in dirty work like axing longtimers. Your prize subordinate (and backup) is reassigned. And overqualified new hire is parked in your department until “the right spot” opens up.
The meat is trimmed off meetings with your boss. Those weekly half-hour status sessions become monthly fifteen-minute rush jobs, if they happen at all. However, when he or she does see you, the talk is all about hard-fisted goals, especially the ones that you are having the toughest time achieving.
You can find more warning signs in my book Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door.