Bad bosses are bad for business

By Jeff Bowman

Cleaning up my old files, as I do every 10 to 12 years, I came across a file folder, thick with dog-eared pages, charts, graphs and post-it notes,which have long since lost their ability to stick. As I browsed the pages the memories came flooding back to me.  The long days, the countless hours, the wasted paper, highlighters and pens. How did I ever survive as long as I did at this job where I absolutely hated the boss? He was an absolute control freak, who micro managed every detail and had to put his mark on everything I ever wrote like a dog marking his territory.

Most of us have encountered this type of boss in our working lives.  At times I look back with absolute derision at the man who caused so much stress in my life, and other times I smile knowing that I outlasted him. I read an article tonight written by Barry Lenson, an Executive Editor at Trump University, on How to Escape from a Terrible Boss and it really rang true. Lenson talks about the 4 steps to escaping a terrible boss.

Stick to the higher ground, be patient, increase your exposure and plan your escape. Truer words have never been written.  If there is one step that I could add, it would be to control your emotions throughout the process.  Getting stressed out could possibly lead to a snap decision or an action you might regret if you are working for a great company.

There is no question the negative effects that bad bosses have on organizations from poor morale, absenteeism, poor work quality, up to and including stealing from the company.  The overall impact on the economy from the bad boss effect is huge in terms of lost hours and productivity. Companies need to keep in mind that employees are the primary source of productivity increases, product improvement and innovation. By capping the potential for employee growth and development because of poor leadership, companies are writing their own prescription for failure.

The solution could be employee performance evaluations.  They need to be of the 360 degree variety.  One way evaluations are a thing of the past, and upper management needs to have employee input when it comes to middle managers.  One bad apple can spoil the bunch, and employees deserve to be heard on issues that affect their productivity, and the overall success of the company.

A person in the position of leading others needs to be able to communicate, and provide an environment for employees to reach their full potential. Bosses, especially in middle management fear employees taking over their position.  Instead, they should welcome it so that they can also move and grow within an organization themselves, and be seen as a developer of people, rather than a small-minded, egotistical control freak.  Oh sorry was I thinking out loud. Next blog I’ll tell you about some great bosses I’ve had.

Have you ever worked for a bad boss?  What made them so bad?

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1 Comment

Filed under Human Resources, Jeff Bowman, Managing

One response to “Bad bosses are bad for business

  1. Pingback: Great bosses make all their employees great « The Marketing PAD

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