Due to the income potential in our profession, we work with some of the smartest people in the world. Thing about smart ‘folk’…they 100% of the time know they’re smart. And…worse…they often think they’re the smartest one in the room. When “pride” has a Netflix and chill night with “intelligence,” they have a kid. That kid is named, JERK! Now…when “jerk” hooks up with “promotion,” they also have a kid. His name is…PSYCHO! And this is the lineage of psycho. Read on.
First, let’s define basic behaviors of a bad boss. Side note, if you’re a boss, and you do ANY of these things…yep, this article is about you…and I have 1 thing to say to you: Dude, cut it out, life’s too short and you’re not as good as you think you are. Ok. Carry on:
- Criticizing without compliment. Critical feedback is crucial – I do it daily. Criticism without compliments shuts people down. It’s imperative you do both or mission will fail. Single. Time. Criticize in public…even with compliment to follow, mission still fails.
- Easy target. No boss thinks they do it. Most do. And then there’s an upper echelon of bozos who know they micromanage…and truly believe it’s the best path to hitting their team quota. These are the worst kind.
- Inability to take feedback and poor listener. I once gave feedback to a boss that was collected by my entire leadership peer group. I functioned as the mouthpiece and with respect and professionalism delivered this feedback…only be told that we were wrong and that’s why he’s the boss. This guy has a PhD in Psycho leadership.
- No backbone. For those who have never managed, I will reveal a secret: it’s often times easier to blame our team for poor results than to take personal accountability. And…90% of the time, managers do just that. Nothing is worse than working for a boss who won’t stand up for her team.
- They are self-centered. It’s impossible to be a good leader and be self-centered. Simply put, they look for ways to promote themselves instead of their team. Here’s a secret I will reveal to all 2nd-line leaders…3rd line leaders know when you’re doing that and you end up looking like a bafoon!
Now that we’ve all reminisced about the terrible bosses in our lives, how do we handle them? Turns out, answers are in the best-selling book of all time – the Holy Bible.
- Stand up to her with confidence, professionalism, and composure. Ecclesiastes 10:4 says, “If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.” This is similar notion to punching the bully in the school yard – when you stand up to him, he backs down.
- Remain calm. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Next time psycho boss criticizes you, tell him you’re proud to work on his team and look forward to working towards what he determines success.
- Do what she says. Ephesians 6:5 says, “Employees, be obedient to your earthly masters, with respect and eager anxiety to please and with simplicity of motive as if you were obeying” Insubordination will ALWAYS lead to a worse outcome. Do what is asked, and do it with passion. If you disagree, see bullet 1, but remember the hierarchy.
- Never talk poorly about your boss. Ecclesiastes 10:20 says, “Do not curse a king even in your thoughts, and do not curse the rich while in your bedroom; for a bird might report what you are thinking, or some winged creature might repeat your words.” If it gets back to her, you’re in trouble.
- Finally, be humble. Humility will lead to your own promotion in due time. Mark 10, 43, 44 says, “…but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave to all.”
Nothing’s worse than working for a bad boss…follow these tenets, and it will work out in due time. Happy selling!