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Why Do Bosses Go Bad?

by Beverly Flaxington

It’s the quest of many working people – work hard, do a good job and get promoted someday so you can be the boss. It’s the reward in most corporate cultures, to climb the ladder and be in charge. If most of us get to the top by climbing our way there, how come we forget what it’s like to be down in the ranks?

The statistics are startling – over 30% of people currently employed are looking for a job. Why? The number one reason: the boss.

Accenture, in a study released earlier this year, reported the following:

32 percent of those surveyed are actively looking for a new job. 31% of people surveyed said they didn’t like their boss, 31% said they felt a lack of empowerment, 35% didn’t like the internal politics where they worked, and 43% said they received no recognition. Empowerment, internal politics and lack of recognition are all factors related to the people in charge, also.

It’s hard work to climb the ladder. Becoming the boss, and being in charge, is a reward and an honor. Rather than be a bad boss, here are five things you can do to be a more effective leader and have your people want to stay and grow with your company:

  1. Recognize that what motivates you, doesn’t motivate everyone who works for you. We all have our own values and motivators, and we often try to motivate people only through the lens of what we care about and we value. Consider other viewpoints. Learn what motivates your senior staff, and their reports – it isn’t always money. People like personal recognition, feeling a part of something bigger, having time off, etc.
  2. Don’t assume they know what you mean. Too often a CEO or person in charge will forget that those below are not privy to decisions being made. They haven’t had the chance to learn why a decision is important. Be sure to convey context, and help people understand why decisions make sense and why they are good for the people and the company.
  3. Leave your ego at the door. Yes, you are in charge but you don’t have to remind people of it every chance you get. The best leaders are often the most humble. You can learn too – your staff are great teachers. Be open to learn and change.
  4. Anger isn’t a good motivator for anyone. Even if you are upset with your staff, with the company reports, with customers, don’t yell and scream. Too many leaders shut their staff down with their overt anger. Learn to manage your stress and speak objectively with balance. Practice this.
  5. Remember, you don’t have a company without the staff. They are your company. Even with the best technology available, with no one to run it, you don’t have a firm. You depend on the human capital – show them every day, in many ways, that you know this.

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