Bad boss behaviour: top 10 examples of the worst

Here is my list of the worst boss behaviour I have experienced. Let these people loose in your business and they will quickly kill motivation.

Managing for profit by Peter Hughes

Working under a bad boss can be a trying experience. But if it happens to you, don’t despair. It can teach you how not to do things one day when you’re a manager.

READ: Aquaculture investors: fish out of water

Here are my top 10 examples of the worst ‘ bad boss ‘ behaviour:

  • The hustler: Bends with the wind, sees everything from his or her own selfish point of view and has no sense of when a conflict of interest exists. No amount of charm or business skill will compensate for this person’s lack of integrity.
  • The talker-not-walker: Preaches good habits but follows none of them. Insists on staff getting to work on time, for example, but is always late. No one takes such a person seriously.
  • The credit thief: Claims all the credit for success, never acknowledging the contribution of staff. Doesn’t understand that the primary motivation factor in people’s working lives is appreciation for a job well done.
  • ‘Trust nobody’: A boss consumed by suspicion. Believes that only he or she has the best interests of the organisation at heart, and everyone else is stealing time, money and goods. Rarely delegates, and when doing so, is a micro-manager, breathing down your neck all the while.
  • Focuses on people not the job: Focuses on the people doing the job rather than on the job itself. Tends to apportion blame when things go wrong, but seldom if ever gives credit for a job well done. By contrast, an effective boss keeps the focus on the job, not on the people doing the job.
  • Mean and moody: When you hear people asking, “What mood is the boss in?” you know you’re dealing with a bad boss. Courtesy counts at all times. This boss also often makes the mistake of being critical of a subordinate in front of others, damaging this person’s self-esteem and killing all motivation and loyalty.
  • The backstabber: Ducks responsibility and blames the team when things go wrong. This also kills motivation instantly. Organisations led by people with these traits usually fail dismally.
  • The insincere boss: Always smiling in a half-hearted way, and asking about your family, without ever taking a real interest or even getting to know the kids’ names. A boss like this cares only about his or her own well-being.
  • The procrastinator: When you need the go-ahead, this person’s response is ‘maybe’ or ‘perhaps’. Always wants a little more information or research on the subject. It’s paralysis by analysis, and it’s exasperating and highly de-motivating.
  • The iceberg: The deadly efficient yet aloof boss, having no real relationship with anyone, and lacking a sense of humour. It’s a terrible strain working with someone like this, where every word you say is coldly weighed up and considered before you receive a response. Suffice to say that a boss like this kills all spontaneity and creativity.