Four Ways You Might Be a Bad Boss

As a small to mid-sized business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Leading your team may be far down on your to-do list, but being a great leader is a key ingredient to having a successful company.

Unsplash-Miles Storey 2

We have worked with a client or two (or more) over the years who has taken the position that he/she doesn’t have time to deal with employees: “They just need to do what they’re told.”

We call it the “because I’m the mom” school of management. It might work with your kids at home, but with employees, that attitude virtually guarantees turnover. And dramatically diminishes your likelihood of success.

Monster.com recently published research that indicates that 76 percent of employees surveyed currently have (or recently had) bosses they’d classify as toxic.

That means about three out of every four employees are convinced they have experienced a bad boss.

And if your company is large enough to have layers of management, you could personally be a great leader, but one of the managers who works for you could be a bad boss.

What constitutes a bad boss? These are the four toxic qualities noted in the survey”

“My boss is power hungry.”  

This was the number one complaint in the Monster.com survey. Your supervisory or managerial title does not make it okay for you act like a bully or a dictator only looking out for yourself.

You need to lead, not boss. Leadership requires that you interact with your team to educate and encourage.

“My boss is a micromanager.”

Nobody likes to be micromanaged. We’re willing to bet that at some point in your career you were micromanaged. And chances are that was your least favorite job.

You need to lead by stating your objectives and empowering your team to achieve those objectives. Research and experience show that employees gain greater satisfaction from their jobs the more autonomy they are given.

“My boss is never around.”

Sometimes a boss might take the idea of giving their team autonomy a little too far and disappear; leaving their team to fend for themselves. There needs to be a balance of empowering your team, while at the same time, staying involved in their progress.

Ignoring your team is basically the flip side of micromanaging . . . and just as damaging. You need to set the goals and parameters, but stay in the communications loop, be a sounding board, and encourage when appropriate.

“My boss is incompetent.”  

In business, people get promoted into management positions for all sorts of reasons and not all of them based on merit. Family connections, longevity, seniority, and personal relationships can all lead to an individual becoming a bad boss due to incompetence.

Whatever the reason, a boss who doesn’t know what he or she is doing is toxic.

On the job training is challenging when the staff knows more about the job than the boss.

If you think you might be a bad boss, fix it.

Work with your team. Show them respect. Ask for and value their opinions. If you don’t know how to do something, don’t fake it. Ask for help. Communicate.

Think back to the worst, most toxic boss you ever had during your career and decide right now not to be that guy (or gal).

Author: hunterbrowncpa

Business Coach, Entrepreneur and CPA

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