When will all the bad bosses, die? Okay, that may be a bit dramatic; but, I know I am not the first person to think about hitting my boss with my car or with a bat that has nails. Yes, in my imagination I can get vicious. They made a whole movie about that entitled, Horrible Bosses. So, I know I am not alone.
I was lucky that early in my career I had leaders, not managers. Leaders who nurture my skills, set reasonable expectations, communicated their thought process to me, showed me how to do, and allow me room to figure out my strengths and weakness. At the time, I didn’t realize how lucky I was.
I went into the workplace, naive, thinking every company had leaders like that. Right? I mean you have to be able to lead people to be a “leader”, to become a person in power. Wrong! I was so wrong!
I have run across three different horrible bosses.
The Toxic Gossiper:
Think “Mean Girls” however in this scenario Regina George is a 60+ gossiper. This boss encourages everyone to talk about each other. They creates a toxic culture where people are bullied. They make you believe that you are their friend because, in your one on one, they gossip with you. However, you soon realize your boss is talking about you to your coworker. This prevents the team to bond. This prevents people from truly growing.
The Insecure Child:
This boss means well. They truly do. However, they have not handled personal problems and it shows in their work. This person will cry at the sight of a bag of chips because the chips remind them of a loved one who has passed. So you spend most of your time making them feel better instead of learning how to do your job better. You are afraid of setting them off, because you know they are struggling. If you happen to be this manager, take some time to figure out your problems. The people under you are looking to be lead.
The Control Freak:
Really, we all know this one. Baby Boomers love being control freaks. I am convinced that most of them took a class entitled, “Control Freak” in elementary school. It was beaten in them that they must be the best, they must leave a legacy behind, blah, blah, blah. However, they are usually overworked, unhappy, and if they do have a partner, I pray to baby jesus, that their partner has a side lover. Now, you would think that if your boss demands greatness out of themselves, they will teach others to be great. Ha! This manager does not how to teach. They don’t want to relinquish any power and because you are not mind reader, you are left feeling lost everyday. So you go to work nervous and do horrible work.
Now because I am a practical person, I did try to find solutions to all these toxic relationships. However I learned three hard truths: companies care about money, not people; horrible bosses don’t like being told they are wrong; people don’t want to grow and admit they are getting older.
I do still have hope. I do believe that there are good leaders out there because I have seen potential out there. People need to rise up and start leading not managing. However, if you want to be a manager, I can meet you in the park with my bat. Don’t worry, it’s just in my imagination.