Bob Sutton, author of the excellent book Good Boss Bad Boss tells this story from the very early days at Pixar:
The company was under financial pressure and much of this pressure came down on the heads of the Division’s leaders, Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith.
The new president, Doug Norby, wanted to bring some discipline to Lucasfilm, and was pressing Catmull and Smith to do some fairly deep layoffs. The two couldn’t bring themselves to do it.
But Norby was unmoved. He was pestering Ed and Alvy for a list of names from the Computer Division to lay off, and Ed and Alvy kept blowing him off. Finally came the order: “You will be in my office tomorrow morning at 9:00 with a list of names.”
So what did these two bosses do? They showed up in his office at 9:00 and plunked down a list. It had two names on it: Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith.
Remember, there are many great managers out there. If you work for one who isn’t great, don’t just accept that as the natural state of things. Do something about it.