• Leadership
December 5, 2016

Are You the World’s Worst Boss? 8 Telltale Signs (and What to Do About Them)

Are you a good boss?

If you’re like most people, you know the answer to that question: Of course you are!

But do your team members agree?

If you’re not sure what they’d say, here’s a list of warning signs that indicate whether or not you’re venturing into shaky territory.

Here is an action plan for correcting these bad behaviors. Subscribe to receive this extra resource. Click Here

You Don’t Like These New Fangled Ideas.

Back in your day, employees were seen and not heard. For some reason, your team won’t stop coming to you with new ideas. And the worst part is, each of these new ideas are unproven, at best.

You don’t like taking chances. Ever. You prefer the proven method that’s worked for you, and your dad before you, and his dad before him.

Preferring a proven method doesn’t make you a bad boss, but shutting out all ideas does.

To avoid this being this type of boss: Give your team a chance to present new ideas to you, and then let them carry out a few. Sure, the ideas may fail, but what if they work? Another bonus is that you and your team will earn the distinction a reputation as innovators. What’s better than that?

You Like to Check Up on Your Team Members. Constantly.

Are you a micromanager? Are you always breathing down the necks of your team members? Every email, every action, every reaction is strictly observed (if not orchestrated) by you.

Your team can’t breathe because you’re always around, telling them exactly how to do every aspect of their job.

To avoid this being this type of boss: If you fear that you may be a micromanager, check out this post: The Science Of Delegation: Why Micromanagers Fail.

You Play Favorites.

Are you a mean girl? Be honest.

I’m not just calling out the women here, you guys can be mean girls, too.

Mean girls rove in packs, look down on everyone who doesn’t think in the same way that they do, and grow stronger through nepotism.

A boss who plays favorites can’t and won’t be trusted.

Those who aren’t in the “inner circle” will always feel left out. And when someone from the inner circle is promoted, deserved or otherwise, everyone else will look on that promotion with suspicion and disdain.

To avoid this being this type of boss: You may or may not have rules against fraternization, but do maintain a healthy distance between you and your team members. Don’t get overly friendly and don’t hang out socially.

You Bring Home to Work.

There’s nothing worse than a boss who brings all of his or her at-home drama to the workplace. I’ve seen it over and over again. The boss just broke up with her fifth boyfriend this year. The boss just found out his wife was cheating (again).

If you’re that boss who’s always bringing your personal life in for show and tell, please stop. It’s awkward, and your employees don’t really know how to comfort you.

To avoid this being this type of boss: Remember to check your social and personal problems at the door. This isn’t a therapy session, and your co-workers aren’t Iyanla Vanzant. Everyone’s there to do a job, and get paid for it. Focus on the work. Your problems will be waiting for you when you clock out. Trust me.

You Bring Work to Home.

It’s one thing to be a boss at work, it’s another thing to work overtime at home. Your family and friends are not your employees, and they will thank you for remembering that. They don’t want to hear about your TPS reports or the interpersonal relationships at work. Try as they might, they won’t quite understand why it’s such a big deal.

For those of you who only have leftover pizza waiting for you at home, it, too, doesn’t want to hear about your problems at work.

To avoid this being this type of boss: When the work day is over, leave your work at work.

You’re Emotionally Unpredictable.

No one knows what to expect. Are you in a good mood, a bad mood? Did your girlfriend dump you again? Did your team lose the playoffs again?

You’re just an emotional mess. No matter what the cause, every day finds you in a different frame of mind.

Your team walks around unsure if now’s the right time to ask you a question or if they should wait until you transform back into Dr. Jekyll.

dr jekyll mr hide

Image Courtesy of Britannica.com

To avoid this being this type of boss: Check your problems at the door and remain on an even level.

You Play the Blame Game.

So, your team gets in trouble and instead of falling on the sword like a samurai warrior, you turn into a three year old– he did it, she started it, I didn’t do that!

On the flip side, you suck up all of the accolades for yourself.

If you’re the kind of boss who’s quick to point the finger at someone else when something doesn’t go your way, you’ll end up with a nasty reputation.

And maybe even this cup as “gag” gift.

worlds worse boss

Image Courtesy of Zazzle

It won’t be a gag.

To avoid this being this type of boss: Make it a practice to take responsibility for failures and shield your team from what was ultimately your lack of oversight. Things happen. You’re allowed to make mistakes. Make note of what went wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

It’s Your Way or the Highway.

how do I put this

Image Courtesy of Quickmeme

If you’ve ever uttered the words, “it’s my way or the highway”, you officially qualify as the world’s worst boss.

And if you haven’t actually said this phrase to your team, but just passively enforced it, you’re still in the running.

If you’re the type of boss who’s never wrong, well, you’re in the wrong. Even if you’re right, you don’t want to curate a reputation that you’re incapable of accepting your own humanity.

To avoid this being this type of boss: Accept that you can make mistakes, and the biggest mistake you can possibly make is not welcoming other points of view.

Final Thoughts

Do you need additional help to improve your management skills? Check out these resources:

Here is an action plan for correcting these bad behaviors. Subscribe to receive this extra resource. Click Here



Join the Discussion!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Teresa Wallace
President, Agility Leadership Coaching
Complimentary Coaching Session!
Got a big question? A vexing issue? Just want a little direction? then this free coaching session is for you. Let's talk!
Schedule my free session!
Get your passion, confidence, and performance back.
Sign up for our newsletter now, and get free leadership tips you can put to work in your career!