7 Signs of a Bad Boss

Published: Mar 29, 2012

7 Signs of a Bad Boss By Theo Gilbert-Jamison, CEO of Performance Solutions by Design

It’s tough enough to be working in an environment where great job opportunities are hard to come by. However, couple it with working for a Bad Boss, and you may have a recipe for professional disaster.

You see, Bad Bosses negatively impact the work environment by fostering high levels of employee frustration, stress, resentment, and eventually high labor turnover throughout the company.

There are Seven Signs of a Bad Boss, as you review them take a minute to assess both your effectiveness and ineffectiveness as a leader. Honestly, how often do you fall prey to these seven signs?

#1 – Bad Bosses Have No Clear Goals. If your team has no clue of the goals or expectations they should be working towards, this may be a weak area for you. In such cases, there are either no goals at all; the goals are unrealistic; or they are unclear to the team. This leads your team to believe that either their boss doesn’t know what they are doing, doesn’t care, or doesn’t want them to be in the loop.

#2 – Bad Bosses Deliver Poor or No Communication. These are the silent types, who revel in their team not knowing what they are thinking. Bad Bosses don’t feel it necessary to communicate how the company is doing, nor how employees are performing in their jobs. They just don’t communicate, and rarely show any emotion – good or bad.

#3 – Bad Bosses Hold No One Accountable. When there is no communication of team standards or goals, Bad Bosses really can’t hold anyone accountable for excellence or even mediocre job performance. Bad Bosses are apt turn a blind eye, allowing rampant compromise throughout the workplace – and in spite of their lack of accountability, they are not approachable and some employees even fear them.

#4 – Bad Bosses Often Blames Others. When things don’t go as they planned or expected, Bad Bosses are quick to point fingers at everyone except themselves – especially when their team doesn’t perform up to par. While self-accountability is out of the question, Bad Bosses find it easy to blame inefficient work systems, processes, and staff members (all within their sphere of control) for their inability to meet company-wide goals and performance standards.

#5 – Bad Bosses Have No Strategy for Improvement or Team Success. Stubbornly believing that strategizing is a waste of time, they just don’t bother with it. Bad Bosses have a false belief that they are doing fine as is; and because often the powers that be (senior leaders and board members) don’t hold them accountable for positive change, things remain in a constant state of confusion for both customers and employees.

#6 – Bad Bosses Never Delegate. To mask their fear of employee empowerment, Bad Bosses fail to properly train and delegate challenging tasks to their team members. They are cynical when it comes to their team, and don’t feel that anyone has the intellect or capacity to perform their job satisfactorily. Therefore, the team remains stagnant and virtually paralyzed in the absence of leadership.

#7 – Bad Bosses Don’t Mentor Others. To them training, development of staff, and mentoring is also a waste of time. They often say, “No one ever mentored or developed me and I turned out alright.” Bad Bosses have no concept of how to synergistically collaborate with their team to help them grow and excel in their jobs. Unfortunately, Bad Bosses practice “tough love” when it comes to on-the-job training.

Now take a minute and assess your current workplace. How many of these poor leadership behaviors do you or your leaders regularly exhibit? When you are treated like this, how does it make you feel? If this information has helped you surfaced some of your blind spots, now is a good time to make a change an order to increase your effectiveness as a leader.

Bottom-line, while Bad Bosses negatively impact the work environment by fostering high levels of employee frustration, stress, resentment, and unnecessary labor turnover – there are simple things that every leader can do to improve the work environment and drive excellence. It just takes a little commitment!

About the Author

Theo Gilbert-Jamison is CEO of Performance Solutions by Design; a global performance consulting firm that caters to luxury and premium brands with an emphasis on transforming organizational culture. She is also the author of two books, The Six Principles of Service Excellence, and The Leadership Book of Numbers (Vol. I). As the creative force behind the innovative concepts and methodologies utilized by Performance Solutions by Design, Theo is a highly sought after speaker and consultant to CEOs and senior executives in high profile organizations. For more information visit her website www.psbydesign.com or you can reach her by email tjamison@psbydesign.com

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