Good Bosses vs. Bad Bosses: What’s the Difference?
Do you work for a good boss or bad boss? Start by thinking of the worst supervisor or boss you ever had. Chances are someone comes immediately to mind. Why do you consider this person “the worst?” How did he or she act? How did this person’s approach affect your attitude and work effort? Did this person influence you to do your best?
Now, think of a situation where you had the best manager ever. It’s harder to identify a boss who shines, isn’t it? What was this person like, and what did he or she do differently? How did this person affect you and your work effort?
What can we learn?
Did you want to do a better job for the best or the worst boss? The answer is obvious, isn’t it? Regrettably, it’s far more likely that the majority of our work life has been spent reporting to bad bosses. Poor managers continue to dominate the landscape of corporate world globally. Despite the research on effective leadership there are too many of them. They are an epidemic killing off employee productivity, loyalty, creativity and company profit. It’s a gloomy picture if we feel we can’t alter it. But we can.
Knowing how dismal it can be to work for an incompetent supervisor, we can decide to be the good manager if that is our goal to have that role. And if we have a few rough edges (and don’t we all), we can get them polished. Maybe you can become an exceptional leader. In addition, as an employee, we can choose how to interact with a horrible manager.
So how do know whether YOU work for a “bad” boss or a “good” boss?
Look at the results. The number one reason employees say they quit is because of unhappiness with their boss. Have a lot of people quit the team you are on? Do you want to quit? How excited are you about coming to work each day? Employees with bad bosses are four times more likely to leave than employees who believe they have good bosses. Interviews in seven hundred companies of 2 million employees suggest that the productivity of employees depends on their relationship to their boss.
The worst bosses contribute to poor morale and bad attitudes, which lead to poor productivity, indifferent customer service, lower sales, reduced quality, and poorer overall financial results. They have employee turnover problems and often have to coerce or bribe employees to do things. Employees perform because they have to, not because they want to. They are like mercenary soldiers being paid to do the job. They aren’t the spirited patriots fighting to protect their homes. If you have a bad boss, see this for help: 7 Courageous Ways to Deal with a Bad Boss.
In big companies, poor bosses stand on every step of the corporate ladder. Many times in smaller organizations, the owners or key executives are often the culprits. In fact, research from various suggests that there are many bad bosses out there.
- Eighty percent of employees say they get no respect at work.
- Less than 53 percent of Americans are unhappy with their jobs.
- Fifty-four percent of employees in lower performing companies are disengaged.
However, good bosses have great people skills that inspire their teams.
Pulling It All Together
I know what you’re thinking. What about those awful bosses who get good results? Yes, it does seem that some managers do well in spite of the pitiful leadership practices. In fact, if you talk to enough people, you’ll find poor bosses and good bosses can both achieve organizational objectives. The difference is in the “how” and what happens long-term. Lack of respect and poor relationships are weak fuel, leaving poor bosses with nothing to drive sustainable results. Results are unsustainable because poor bosses sap employees’ commitment and positive emotion to invest their best in their work.
In other words, bad bosses’ behavior does eventually catch up with them (or their organizations), but unfortunately for their victims-the employees-and, it doesn’t seem to happen fast enough.
How do you start to become a good or better boss? If you want your team to be better you must be a better leader. So, keep learning: read new leadership books, attend seminars and webinars, and get a personal coach. Do this consistently and apply new strategies immediately. This will be a great beginning to improving your performance, to helping employees effectively, and to achieving your goals.
So, do you want to learn more about how effective employees succeed? If so, check out Rick’s eBook, The Extraordinary Employee.
- In addition, go here for our RealTime Learning & Training leadership and personal development website. Micro-learning and career advancement at your fingertips!
Furthermore, if you want to be a leader, check out this proven game-plan for management career success? Check out Rick’s Superstar Leadership book.