Bad Bosses

Why do some companies tolerate “bad-bosses?”  How can they expect their employees to come to work each day and deliver their best performance if their bosses are bad?

Bad Bosses Still Exist
There is so much talk and emphasis on leadership today and why bosses should not be “bosses” they should be leaders. Yet, in my work as a consultant on creating a high performance culture, people still tell me they are working for a bad boss. Here are some real-world examples:

“My boss berated me in front of my team. I felt like crawling under a rock.”
“I’ve worked here for five years and never once has my boss said ‘thank you’ or expressed appreciation for my good work and long hours I put in.”
“My boss straight out said to me – “I don’t like you.”
“My boss is so busy, I can’t even get in to see him.”
“My sales manager is so busy working on strategy and programs, he is unavailable to accompany me to help me negotiate and close a sale.”
“There is so much negativity, territorialism, and back-stabbing in this company, and my boss knows about it. Yet, he never does anything about it. He ignores it.”
“My boss is nice when upper level executives are around. When they are not, he yells at people.”
“I told HR about her, but they haven’t done anything.”
“My boss is only concerned about looking good to executives and shareholders. He could care less about us.”

The list of gripes I’ve heard can go on and on.

Smart companies have a Zero Tolerance for Bad Bosses policy and insist that executives, managers, supervisors, foreman, etc. display dynamic leadership. The demand all management treat employees as well as their best customers and display the values of honesty, integrity, respect, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability.  Indeed, every leader should “walk-the-talk.” They train their entire management team in every location on leadership and even hold them accountable for the attitude they bring to their people each day.

Progressive companies make sure their leaders have an open-door policy and are never too busy to listen to their staff – even if it means they must stop what they are doing. They express appreciation for hard work. They find a few minutes a day to talk with a different employee and ask how they can help.

Three Tips on What to Do if You Work For a Bad Boss:

1) Talk to your boss. If you receive my Monday Morning Motivation you may remember my words, “In any tough situation, you have two choices – tolerate it and do nothing, or do something about it.” If you are brave and choose the latter, tell your boss how what they are doing (or not doing) is affecting you. Then, tell them how you believe it is affecting your team and creating a barrier to high performance. Last, tell them how it is affecting customers.

2) If you’ve done all you can to “enlighten” your bad boss, you can go above your bad boss’ head or HR, but you may be uncomfortable doing so, and worry it may make things worse. In that case accept that you may not be able to change anyone. You can only try. Strive to be strong, and remember we don’t live in a perfect world. Then, deliver your best performance each day for yourself, your team, and your customers regardless of your bad boss.

3) Perhaps compassion will help you to handle the situation. Even though every company should have a “Zero Tolerance for Bad Bosses,”  maybe your boss is under immense pressure. Maybe they are afraid of losing their job. Maybe they have personal problems. (Maybe no one has ever told them how bad of a boss they are!)

A Final Word to Bosses

The vast majority of employees today have little control over their work environments. It’s important that companies focus on the areas that drive employee motivation and create high performance – values, appreciation, empowerment, self-development, creativity, achievement, freedom to speak, freedom to contribute, opportunity for life-balance and enjoyable relationships. Make people feel they are working WITH you and not FOR you. When you make an effort to do so, your people will enjoy coming to work each day, and you will see performance improvement.

Don’t be a bad boss. Be a great leader. For now, ask yourself these questions: “Am I a boss or a LEADER?” “Would I want to work for me?”

About Christine Corelli

Christine Corelli is a motivational, keynote, business, leadership, sales, and customer service speaker, sales trainer, and author of six business books. As a keynote speaker, she is known for her high energy and interactive speaking style.

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