How to spot bad bosses
Contrary to popular belief, a low salary is not the main reason why many people quit. Bad bosses are the ones who are really behind it and are responsible for making us lose faith and trust in our own careers. Terms like “bad bosses” or “harmful managers” are subjective. Nevertheless, we try to understand who or what is behind it.
Bad bosses – even more damaging to the company than their reputation?
The English term “toxic leader” was coined in 1996 by Marcia Whicker. It describes bosses who, because of their poor quality, cause harm to people in their immediate vicinity. One definition of the term “toxic leaders” speaks of “individuals who, because of their destructive behavior and dysfunctional personal qualities and character traits, cause significant harm to other individuals, groups, organizations, communities and even nations that they lead”. Another definition describes “individuals whose behavior is driven by self-centered careerism at the expense of their subordinates. This leadership style is characterized by abusive and dictatorial behavior that leads to an unhealthy corporate climate. ”
You are likely to find such people in the top ranks of almost any company. How did they get into such high positions of power? Isn’t this harmful behavior immediately apparent? The answer to these questions is that such leaders are very difficult to identify because they do not consistently behave negatively. In many companies, in the end it is the profit that is most important. In the case of executives who can do this, toxic behavior is therefore also tolerated.
If you take a closer look, you will find that most of the harmful qualities of bad bosses are well hidden behind a smoke screen of charisma and charm. They are credited with great ideas and profits. They are known for their intelligence and hard work. You are often very charming towards customers and business partners. Very rarely behave in a charmless way towards your supervisor or boss. Don’t you know an example from your company in which a colleague in a junior position is bullied while the person responsible is particularly charming to those who have power in the company?
Bad bosses only reward employees who agree with them. Anyone who contradicts will be punished. Essayers are promoted. Anyone who could pose a risk are kept away from decision-making processes and positions. There are only two alternatives for employees: say yes or quit. Symptoms of bad bosses are high churn rates, low productivity, a lack of innovation and conflicts between departments.
How do you recognize bad bosses?
- You like to delegate responsibility for your actions to others. They take credit for the work of their team, but blame others for mistakes or ineffectiveness.
- You regularly devalue others, are arrogant towards subordinate colleagues and behave submissively in the presence of a superior. If no supervisor is present, they surround themselves with essayers.
- They refuse to accept other people’s ideas. New ideas or even changes to yourself are not options. You won’t even listen to these as you are completely convinced that you are right. Creativity and ideas of others have no place here. To maintain their supremacy, they surround themselves with essayers again.
- You are extremely sensitive to anything that could compromise your self-esteem. Any attack on their grandiose self-image leads to narcissistic outbursts that lead to destructive behavior – towards themselves and others. They are dominant control freaks who demand the almost impossible of others.
- You have an all-for-all mentality. Here the Darwin principle is taken to extremes. He who is not a hunter becomes prey. Bad bosses are often extremely aggressive and bossy. They use humiliation, sarcasm, and public display to suppress colleagues.
- They are almost paranoid about maintaining their power in order to prevent any threat to their position in the company. They often work hard behind the scenes to put down rising talents or ideas that could endanger their position of power.
Bad bosses are poison for every job. They prevent productivity and creativity, destroy a good team atmosphere and cause doubts and fear to sprout among employees. It is important to recognize this harmful behavior and to work against it in order to create a positive work environment.