Bad bosses are ruining great companies all over the world. The problem is not the people it’s the bosses that they work for.
You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all had one of these bad bosses.
- They micromanage
- They promise the world and deliver nothing
- They overload you and know you’re going to fail
- They never listen
- They’re always too busy (busy doing meetings aka socializing)
- They never back you in performance conversations
- They get angry at you when you’re doing your best
I could go on for hours.
BAD BOSSES SUCK and are destroying otherwise great companies.
My bad boss
I’m lucky. I’ve only had one bad boss.
This boss would complain to everyone about how bad the company was. He told everyone he wanted to leave except me. I asked him several times and he lied to me. His only trick to motivate me was to remind me that bonus time was right around the corner.
Somehow that bonus was supposed to make up for the fact we hated going to work and it was soul-crushing.
Everything this boss taught me was wrong.
Stab your colleagues in the back on their way out. Bag other bosses and then pretend you didn’t. Never support your team’s personal goals outside of work.
For around six months, while this bad bosses reign of terror lasted, no one wanted to come to work. The best part about work was going home. Even better was long weekends and any excuse not to have to talk with him.
The company had a good name and quality products but the culture had spiraled out of control. This bad boss had become one of many.Conversations at work became nothing more than weekly meetings where everyone would go through what they did and have KPI conversations. It was demoralizing.
I tried to tell him that I discovered a major client was leaving. He ignored it and told me I was wrong. I gave him clear evidence. He still denied it — until the client finally left.
Titles, salaries and bonuses are not enough
Who gives a damn about all of that.
These things feel good for about a day and then they become nothing more than trivial pursuits that don’t mean anything at the end of the day.
Titles, salaries and bonuses are like dog treats used to lure dogs into obeying orders. Is it really acceptable to treat humans in this way and reward them like incentivized dogs that should do as they’re told and roll over?
I’ve had some good bonuses in my career. The best year was when I made no bonus and got the girl I’d always dreamed about.
I’ve had some awesome job titles in my career. The best title was the one of leader which was given to me by the internet after I spent years inspiring people through personal development and entrepreneurship. The titles you appreciate are the ones that don’t describe a department or area of a business.
I’ve had some awesome salaries too. The difference between five figures and six figures is hardly noticeable. I didn’t suddenly go from homeless to driving a Ferrari. In fact, when I had less, I appreciated it so much more. Saving up to buy an iPad felt like a huge achievement.
“There are too many bad bosses waffling on about KPI’s and incentives and not enough trying to show their people how to find meaning in their life and do work they love. That’s the work of a good boss”
How do you escape a bad boss?
“Having a bad boss isn’t your fault. Staying with one is” — Nora Denzel
Take responsibility. Do something about your bad boss. Change departments or change companies. Whatever you do don’t give your boss the thumbs up by sticking around. Instead, give them the quiet middle finger and get your ass out of there as quickly as you can.
It’s your responsibility to vote with your career and show them who’s not your boss.
Respect yourself too. Escaping your bad boss is less about them and more about you. If you respect yourself, you’ll escape. It’s not prison. You can use platforms like LinkedIn to find another career. There’s lots of nice people out there that will help you escape your bad boss if you’ll just have the courage to ask them.
Nothing will kill your dreams quicker than a bad boss.
A bad boss can affect you more than you realize. They make you feel sick, they make you lack energy and they don’t support you thus killing your goals and dreams.
You need a good boss that’s willing to let you do projects, do good work, and meet people that are aligned with your dreams. Not working towards your goals each day at work kills your motivation. Keeping a bad boss happy is soul-crushing.
You need positivity, advice, coaching, and the right people to achieve your personal goals. A bad boss is never going to listen to any of that because they are all about themselves and their KPI’s.
“Stick KPI’s where the sun don’t shine. No person has ever been or ever will be genuinely motivated by that three letter acronym ‘KPI’ that you bolster on about until we all want to fall asleep”
What does a good boss look like?
Really simple everybody:
- They respect you first and you respect them back.
- They trust people to do the job and support you to do so
- They don’t give you the answer they help you find it for yourself
- They have emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion oozing out of them
- They appreciate the work you do and the challenges you face
- They’ll never ask you to do something they’re not prepared to do themselves (i.e., managers that don’t talk to clients)
- They help you to grow by giving you challenges aligned to your own goals
I’ve had many good bosses that follow this format. One such boss got me to attend Toastmasters which not only helped my public speaking but built my confidence.
This same good boss also allowed me to work one day in social media. He’s the reason I now work a four day week, so I can continue that tradition of working one day entirely on social media.
A message for the bad bosses of the world.
You can’t hide any longer.
People are catching on to the fact they can choose any company they want to work for.
“LinkedIn now provides us with endless opportunities to get the hell away from you and meet good bosses”
As freedom in the working world spreads, bad bosses are going to be ignored and therefore be forced into hiding and made extinct like the dinosaurs. Bad bosses, we’re coming for you!
We’re going to silence you through leaving your ass behind.
We’re going to encourage others to do the same.
We’re going to choose ourselves first.
There’s no excuse to be a bad boss….ever.