-This post on Horrible Bosses was first written in 2017, but is still relevant today-
I am not sure how many of you actually watched the movie “Horrible Bosses”, but in real life, these people do actually exist. They might be able to make it in any industry for a while, but they rarely last. Eventually, their poor people skills and leadership capacities do catch up with them, and bring them down, often at the hands of former employees or straight down through their flawed vision of how business and human relations goes. Their failure is usually reflected in their high employee turnover.
I compiled here, the 7 worst traits I’ve seen in bosses I’ve worked with before starting my own business -especially immediately before, in the recent past-, for you to recognize whom NOT to work with and what kind of bosses NOT to be:
- They are control freaks: Hard to miss, they want to control every little thing you can imagine, they delegate but will make you regret they did and they mostly can and will hold you accountable of everything under the sun; including -especially actually- their own failures.
- They do not see the big picture: Micro-managers are the worst kind of bosses. They often lose sight of the big picture to focus on making this data entry or having their team sharp at 8 am, regardless of how long do they stay in later on. They focus on organization more than productivity and end up having them cannibalize each other.
- They don’t recognize nor correctly invest the strength of their teams: With these bosses, you will see someone with the potential to design a space craft, working on blog posts for the mundane company website or taking care of database entries. (I am sorry, but I am sure my disdain for databases comes across; in effect, I did encounter someone so obsessed with their database even though half of the country currently owns it).
- They are not good at keeping their teams or paying them: There can be no good boss where the turnover of new comers is higher than the company’s financial turnover. Oh and whenever you hear someone complaining about pay … you can safely assume you have a failed boss AND company.
- They are slightly off when it comes to their contact with reality: Have you ever seen someone with such a “grand vision” that they have nothing in the middle? Oh … and nothing on the ground? Bad bosses are notorious for breaking their company’s backs over visions that are way off reality and unlikely to come to fruition in the foreseeable 99 years future. Dreaming big is a must; but concretizing it through smaller steps is what’ll bring it forth. Of course, they hold their teams accountable of not being able to attain this vision.
- They invest most of the time in low value-generating activities: I have seen bosses with employees having extremely valuable multinational connections, making them sit over a company draft presentation; instead of flying them all over the world to generate international projects and strategic alliances. Bad boss alert; double business development fail alert too.
- They are off the ground with their approach to clients: It is usually the bosses previously mentioned that will dazzle you with how big are they and how much can they do in client meetings. We have heard it all, from people pretending to have a team in France, to pretending their strategic non-exclusive allies are on their team, passing by inflating their company capabilities and size. What’s worse? They expect their teams to fulfill these fantasies. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Bad boss alarm just ticked off here!!