The Boss Show

Workplace wisdom with heart and humor

May 23, 2013

No Excuse for Bad Bosses

By Steve Motenko

Stories about bad bosses enrage me.  Really infuriate me.  This is how I know that, in calling attention to the wrongs perpetrated by bad bosses, I’m following a true calling.  There’s a reason I’m an executive coach, a leadership trainer, and co-host of The Boss Show.

It’s about the passion that I feel.

One of my favorite authors, Parker Palmer, calls leadership (i.e. being a boss) a “sacred responsibility”:

A leader, Palmer writes, is a person who has an unusual degree of power to create the conditions under which other people must live …  conditions that can either be as illuminating as heaven or as shadowy as hell. A leader is a person who must take special responsibility for what’s going on inside him or her self … lest the act of leadership create more harm than good.

There’s no excuse for being a bad boss.  There’s no excuse for abdicating this “sacred responsibility” – no excuse for not taking it as seriously as it absolutely is.  Jim and I just released a show on the most common complaints about the boss.  None of these behaviors is acceptable.  No boss should get away with them.

If you’re a boss, and you see yourself in any of the behaviors we discuss on the show – CUT IT OUT!  Get help.  Make amends and change your ways.  No, it’s not too late for the old dog (you) to learn new tricks.

And if your boss is the offender, leave a copy of this blog post (anonymously if necessary) on his/her desk.  But also find a way to talk to your boss about your concerns, rather than complain behind their back.

Here’s the complete list of Top 8 Complaints About the Boss.  Let us know what you think below.

  1. My boss micromanages me
  2. My boss doesn’t listen
  3. My boss doesn’t want to have his/her opinions and ideas challenged
  4. My boss doesn’t follow through on promises
  5. My boss assigns deadlines without considering what’s on my plate
  6. My boss doesn’t have time for me
  7. My boss doesn’t give helpful feedback about my performance
  8. My boss is disorganized and reactive

About the Author

Steve Motenko is an executive coach, leadership trainer, and co-host of The Boss Show, a weekly podcast on workplace dynamics. Steve and his Boss Show co-host, Jim Hessler, are co-authors of Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guide to Building Your Leadership Platform. Steve lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, with his wife and dog, whom he loves, and a cat he tolerates usually pretty well.

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