Have you ever started revving your engine the moment your boss steps off the curb in the parking lot? Do you fantasize about an errant bump in the floor causing an accidental trip down the stairs? Or maybe something simpler… like Visine in their coffee leading to excruciatingly long bathroom breaks?
No? Me neither. Never. Of course not.
But maybe your… uh… co-worker has confessed such feelings and you want to help.It’s 2016. A brand spanking new year…a perfect time for you to know the truth about that bat-$h*t crazy boss that is making you … uh… your co-working nuts.

Here is a list of 5:


If you have a horrible boss…


1 – Delegate Executive Functions

Bored-businesspeople-in-a-001Did you know that the executive functions of the brain are the decision making functions? It’s in charge of making sure things get done from the planning stages of the job to the final deadline.

Just like the executive function of the brain is in charge of making decisions… so is your boss.

That is why they gave them that snazzy title. When they spend more time asking a committee to come up with a unanimous decision (or as we call it… mission impossible) then they are shirking their responsibilities (or inability to make a decision) off on you.

Since they are scared to make a decision, take the lead.  Suggest that the committee gather information rather than make a decision on it.  Tell your boss that you will lead the committee, compile the information, and help them make the best choice.  By the way, you will be making the decisions and leading them to that decision.  This is a great way for your team to see you as a leader and decision-maker.




2 – Leader Doer

Roll-up-sleevesYou love it when the boss gets in the trenches when times are tough. But teams only want the boss to roll up their sleeves when they absolutely need to.

Many times the new leader, with no leadership training or the doer who was promoted to leader when they wanted to remain a doer, is totally guilty of this.

They do the work that you should be doing to prove that they haven’t lost their edge, knowledge, and trench-worthy skills.  WHAT A PAIN!

As a person working for the new boss, you must establish your area.  Your favorite new term is “I GOT THIS”.  Be firm.  They got the promotion, now suggest they back away from the trenches.

Remind them that you want to learn, achieve goals, and work up to their standards.  And when you get in a bind, you will ask them to lead you to the solution… not by doing it for you.



3 – Olympic Pole Vaulting Expected

Pole-vaulting-pitfallsFirst they point out who the star team player is.  Then they make sure that you know that you are not that player.

Gee… thanks coach… now I feel really great about myself…. let’s go make a million.

They only give feedback for the over the top, record breaking actions.  It doesn’t matter that you reached your sales goals early and have done so 3 years straight.  What matters is that Brad did it early while wearing tight shoes and walking 10 miles, up hill, both ways, in the hot sun while fighting the stomach flu.

Seriously? Brad should use his bonus check to buy shoes, a car, and antibiotics.

To make matters worse, they point out every single mistake or erroneous decision that you make as if your actions would single-handedly cause a meteor to annihilate our planet.

Here’s a little advice.  First: Explain that you are not a record-breaking Olympic Pole Vaulter. Then show how your consistency leads to great results not just one time, but every single time.  Show off your strengths. Keep your boss focused on those.  Then deliver big in the areas where you excel.

Second: give your boss a valium or two and suggest they chase it with a fatty.  No really!  Move to Colorado (or Seattle… or wherever good weed is sold) and give them the gift of fatty rolling classes so they can chill the hell out.

(Ok… maybe do number 2 anonymously.)



If you are a horrible boss…




1 – Halo Effect

The-Halo-EffectYou spotted the person that is the best (and happiest) at doing their job. And you are so proud of yourself for recognizing their talent. So you leverage the halo effect and promote them.  And now they hate you.

You missed the fact that they don’t want to move up the ladder. They just want to do what they love to do.  (By the way… 6 months from now they will leave… after making everyone around them miserable. See #3 ).

To correct this issue, put them back in their role. And don’t worry about them leaving because you demoted them – they’re out in 6 months anyway.

Oh!  And, so is the person who you should’ve promoted.  You know… the person that makes decisions without the title, heads to your meetings when you are double booked, and inspires your team when you are on vacation. Yeah… they are leaving too, unless you promote them like you should have.



2 – Midnight Oil Burner


I would love to find the person that said, “I have to come in before my team and leave after them” and just shake them.  Two hands; on shoulders; with a strong back and forth motion… repeat.

What is the point of this ridiculous practice. To show your team that you are busy, that you are there for them, or that family life is not as important as this company.

First, if you are too busy then you have poor time management skills and need to check out Laura Stack’s book on Productivity.  Or you have no life, which means you need to check out Tinder.

And if you want to be there for your team then get a cell phone.  It’s a magical device that allows people to talk to you when you are not there.  Captain Kirk had one.  If you really want to go crazy get a laptop or tablet with a wireless connection.  (I know… crazy).  Plus, if you trust your team then show them by letting them manage themselves while you are out.  

Finally, do you really want to set the example, in this day and age, that family is not a priority.  Who are you?  Marissa Mayer? (sorry… I couldn’t resist).

If you feel like you must work after hours, then set up a home office or an office away from work.  But make a note to leave on time everyday.  Your team will appreciate you for it.





What other things have you seen horrible bosses do?