Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bad Boss Stories

In truth, the descriptions of these bosses don't seem that bad, at least compared to some of the cases with which I am familiar. The guy who knocks over furniture and throws things around in the office is pretty bad, and probably should be fired, along with the supervisor who hit whiffle balls at people when she got angry. What I find particularly interesting about most of these stories is that after the affected employees were either fired or quit, their outlook on life improved immeasurably. They became productive and successful, which makes me think that in fact they were being managed by incompetents.

Incompetent, bullying, ego-maniacal managers can wreak havoc in an organization well beyond their area of immediate oversight. Given America’s “bottom line” business culture, it's easy for management to either overlook or simply miss the methods being used by a "productive" supervisor to get results from her people. In fact, my experience is that high level bullying goes virtually unreported or reviewed because of the assumption that everyone at that level knows how to do their job. That’s why I am a big fan of so-called 360 degree job performance reviews, in which a supervisor is rated not only by her supervisors, but by her peers and her subordinates. Companies can learn a lot of information about what’s really going on by listening to co-workers.

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