Boss Types, Part 1: The Bad and the Not-So-Great

There are 7.7 billion people in the world. Each one of them with their own values, culture, hopes and dreams. And some of those 7.7 billion people are bosses, each one of them different and unique.

And unique isn’t always a good thing.

Some bosses just aren’t that great. They come to work late, yell at employees, and everyone wonders how they got their position. They prioritize their own needs above those of the group, causing bad blood and major conflict.

Here at Job Journey we’ve had more than a few people write in with horror stories about their bosses, as well as a few messages about how amazing some bosses can be. We thought we’d start off by creating archetypes for a few of the bad bosses out there. See anyone you recognize?

The Polite People Pleaser (PPP)

The PPP isn’t a bad person. But they have a tendency to avoid doing what actually needs to be done. If a person in a different department misses a deadline, they won’t confront them. If that same person blames one of the PPP’s employees for the missed deadline, they’ll try to defuse the situation by saying “I’ll talk to them about it.” But then they never actually do.

The PPP likes to hide from conflict, rather than confront it head on. They don’t want to make waves. This can make it difficult for an employee to know where they stand since they never receive any feedback other than “you’re doing great.” When the employee makes mistakes (and we all make mistakes) the PPP tends to ignore it. Essentially, the PPP makes it hard for an employee to grow.

The Bullheaded Blowhard (BB)

We all know this boss. They storm into the office every morning, usually at least 30 minutes late, and grumble about not having their coffee yet. They never meet their own deadlines but publicly shame anybody else who dares to do the same. They hold their employees to an impossibly high standard, while having no such standard for themselves.

From where all this blustery anger comes from, nobody knows. But regardless of reason, the BB doesn’t get along with anyone, whether that is their own employees or their peers. They’re incredibly unorganized, but blame any mistakes on someone else. They’re in this job for their paycheck, and that’s it.

The Gossipy Glad-Hander (GGH)

“Can you believe that Martha in accounting missed the deadline again. She’s the worst.” The GGH utters phrases like this regularly. Rather than confront other managers about problems with their employees, the GGH just gossips about it. They might be great managers for their own direct reports, but not so much for other departments. Problems can’t be solved through gossip, and odds are that talking badly about someone behind their back will only lead to more problems later.

And that’s just a smattering of the many bad bosses out there. There are a few things you can do about a bad boss: you can stick with the job until a better one comes along, report the bad boss to his or her superiors, or quit.  Unfortunately, dealing with less than stellar managers is just another step on your job journey.

We’ll be back next month with a more positive spin on what makes for a great boss.

Have you ever encountered one of the bosses in this article? Let us know in the comments below!



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