Forty-seven U.S. Congressman thought recently it was appropriate to write an open letter to the Iranian government (a recognized enemy of the United States), in essence, warning Iran that any nuclear arms agreement reached by them with President of the United States could likely be overturned once a new president was elected next year. This, as with the invitation by John Boehner, the Speaker of the House to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, to speak before Congress (without the President's prior knowledge) last month are just a couple of recent examples that illustrate the point.
Regardless of your political affiliation, anyone can see that these actions were intended to undermine the president and further the political agenda of those doing the damage. But, there are other unintended consequences that resulted from these actions including weakening the country's reputation on a global scale, adding unknown strains to existing diplomatic relations and casting a shadow of doubt over the motivations and professional maturity of the perpetrators in the minds of many members of the general public.
I use this recent example from national politics to demonstrate the effects that undermining a leader can have on office politics, as well. To drive home the point, consider the ramifications that throwing your boss under the bus can have on, both you, and the place that you work. After all, it sends the message that:
You Can't Be Trusted
If you're willing to undermine your boss and take subversive action, like writing a note to an enemy state, what else are you capable of doing? You're not someone that can be trusted--regardless of how well intentioned your motivation may have been.
If you work to undercut your boss, you are demonstrating that your value system permits putting your needs ahead of those of your team. This type of behavior reinforces the notion that you're someone that can't be trusted, as well.
Sometimes the action of trying to destabilize your boss comes across as an immature reaction to not getting your way. Your co-workers may ask themselves, "How can she not know how silly this makes her look?" This can amount to career suicide if this conclusion is drawn from your behavior.
Attempting a coup can also indicate a lack of appreciation of the "Big Picture." It can also indicate that you're not aware that there's a big picture, at all. Your colleagues will judge who you are by what you do. Do something that they deem as foolish and you're considered a fool.
OK, Captain Obvious, trying to get your way by making your boss look foolish one of the oldest tricks in the book! Work a little harder to discover ways to make things better at the office. Disrespecting the chain-of-command should not be one of your "go to" tactics.
You're an Amateur
If you were really good, you would have achieved desired results without resorting to taking the offensive with the boss. True professionals play fair in order win.
To close, there are clearly better ways to get your agenda met than undermining the person in charge. You can approach your manager directly and discuss your differences of opinion. You can take the initiative and do some extra research to fortify your position. You can volunteer for new project opportunities that can provide a platform for your ideas on how things should be done. But, undermining your boss is not a tack you should take because it hurts your business and damages your reputation.