Bad Boss

I’m sure that we have all encountered people with poor leadership skills. Poor leadership can have a dramatic impact on morale.

Chances are, if you’ve had a bad boss somewhere along the line in your career, you’ve moved on to another job. Today, that may not be so easy to do. Nevertheless, studies show repeatedly that one of the main reasons for job dissatisfaction and, ultimately, job switching, is working for a bad boss.

This is a sobering statistic that all companies, large or small, need to take to heart. Often, serious employee morale issues are not the result of souring economic conditions and corresponding cost cutting and downsizing. Rather, they are directly the consequence of insensitive company leadership.

Bad bosses pass their weaknesses on to others. They are poor leaders, who let their ego and desire for power get in the way of doing what’s best for their employees and their company. They have a tremendous need to control, and often dwell on mistakes rather than discuss methods of prevention.

Bad bosses tend to create employees who are best described as “Coasters.” These are people who are so intimidated or frustrated with their boss’s behavior that they drop their performance to a bare minimum. Their work is adequate, but lacks initiative and involvement.

Bad bosses can break people down from being the high-performing “Achievers” they once were. High achievers when first hired, these employees burn out quickly when they are held back or their ideas are not welcomed. The poor leadership skills of their bosses chip away at their positive attitudes and erode high performance levels.

On the other hand, good leaders have an open-door policy; they are never too busy to listen to their staff””even if it means they must temporarily shift their priorities.

Good leaders hire the best people and let them run with the ball. They don’t micromanage. They know that giving people the responsibility and authority to accomplish their work is one of the strongest ways they can show their appreciation and respect.

Good leaders not only know what characteristics to look for when hiring people, but they know where to find future Achievers. They just look around and discover them within their own organizations. Good leaders have the ability and attitude to turn Coasters into Achievers. They encourage them, believe in them, develop their skills and provide unlimited coaching.


4 replies
  1. Matt S
    Matt S says:

    I’m a very young, and inexperienced person, but I realize how much truth there is within this article.

    I have volunteered to work with leadership personalities around churches, who sadly, strongly hurt team morale. This has happened several times.

    Thanks for the cool read. I love how your blog covers so many topics =D.

  2. Donald
    Donald says:

    Good article! Bad bosses, I have one, you know the type: pathological lier, paranoid, insecure, jealous, belittling, narcistic and egotistical. Likes to turn a hell of an employee into the employee from hell! Often the lack of training for the job or the result of a bad boss him/herself has. Supervisors are too often given the position because they have knowledge of the companie’s operations but hardly are they selected for being good bosses and no one bothers to train them in becoming good leaders.

  3. Jerome alexander
    Jerome alexander says:

    More on Bad Bosses and Where they Come from

    Employees come to work with an implicit trust that their managers are always working for the best interest of the company and its employees. That trust should not and cannot ever be taken for granted. Look what is happening today. It is no longer “What’s good for the company is good for the manager.” It has become “What’s good for the manager is good for the company.” Top executives have totally lost sight of this phenomenon and are allowing managers to run amok for their own personal agendas.
    Several years ago I wrote a book on the subject of workplace culture and employee morale. It is as relevant today as it was then. Employee morale is directly linked to the interaction of employees with line managers who are charged with executing the policies and strategies of companies. Unfortunately, many of these managers subvert the good intentions of the organization to meet their own personal goals and agendas at the expense of their peers and subordinates. This management subculture is the result of a corporate culture of ignorance, indifference and excuse. Better corporate level leadership is the key. Read more in “160 Degrees of Deviation: The Case for the Corporate Cynic.”

    Jerome Alexander


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