Five Habits of a Truly Horrible Boss


The best thing about working for a boss is the opportunity to learn from both good and negative examples of leadership.

5 Habits of a Bad BossThere are five common leadership habits, behaviors and approaches that you will see in a lousy boss.

Want to be a terrible boss? Here is your blueprint:

  • You are in control—all the time!

You know better, that is why you are a boss, right? If there is a decision to be made anywhere in the organization, the boss is the one to make it. If there is a necessary task that needs to be done, no one will do it better than you.

Attend all meetings for decisions that you are positive need your approval. That makes you the invaluable employee. In addition, it prevents others from getting recognition, developing their talents and trying to get your job.

  • Delegate accountability, without giving authority

Everyone says as a boss, you need to delegate, and you do, as long your employees do things exactly the way you tell them. Everyone knows you are the one in charge. Of course, you still get the credit.

When others claim you micromanage, ask them a question: “would they prefer poor quality or unreliable leadership?”

  • Mandate loyalty

There are only two types of employee, those with you, and those against you. If people question your authority, decisions or judgment, they are clearly against you.

You feel the need to reduce the effect of naysayers—openly or privately. With people you supervise, that is easy. All you need is to remind them firmly that they must appreciate the opportunity to bend to your will.

Remind employees that the cost of challenging the boss is their jobs. If they are smart, they will fall in line. Others will simply quit. That is reasonable since they were always poor performers.  Some call it intimidation, but you see it as “solid leadership.”

  • Saving face is the most important

Of course, you know that showing vulnerability sometimes will make you sound human and approachable. Your weakness is “working too hard” or “caring too much” about underlings. That should be more than enough.

Never admit you are sorry. All mistakes are someone else’s fault.

A personal crisis must never touch your work, and they always should be hidden. Your private life must have no bearing on how you are strong in public.

  • Be a boss, not a friend

The only way for a boss to keep people accountable is by being a jerk. Correct poor performance with direct or implied remarks, filled with sarcastic humor.  Maybe a personal insult will do the trick. Public humiliation is also a good management tool.

Do top leaders have friends? Who cares?  If they did it would be a weakness, not strength. It proves that we all have room to improve.

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