What if Your Boss Is A Jerk?

In today’s Coffee…

  • Boss and Boss Habits

  • 501 words, About a 2-1/2 minute read.

What if You Thought…

Your Boss was a Schmutz?

It’s a national pastime to complain about your boss. “S/he doesn’t get it. S/he thinks we should all think like s/he does. S/he’s got no idea what’s really going on. S/he’s not a good leader.” And on and on.


What if the boss, is You? How do you wear the shoes when you’re the leader, when everybody is asked to bend to your thoughts? This is where bosses often fall prey to complaining about their employees. “Why can’t they just understand?”

Actually, employees can be pretty good at understanding. But it starts with the boss figuring out that employees & bosses are fundamentally different than one another.

Miss a Paycheck Lately?

Most CI owners started their companies on a shoestring. They had no real money to invest, no real management experience to draw from, no real script telling them what to do. They had to figure it out, and make it work, from scratch. And yes, go unpaid some weeks.

This would be a scary thing for most people. Which is why most people aren’t business owners. We always tell owners who wish their employees were more like them, “If they were more like you, they’d have their own business.”

Most people like to have a good idea of what they’re supposed to do, and how to do it, and when it needs to be done. They also like to know what the thresholds are for a job well done, and not-so-well done. And they love getting feedback from their boss – though if it is always negative, the dance won’t go on for long.

Owners, by the way, rarely get kudos for a job well done. It’s lonely up there.

If you are the Boss

Your prime responsibility as Boss is to help each team member get better. Help them get an “A”, do not only grade their paper. If you take your mentoring role seriously, you will help them see how to improve: whether it’s conforming to the values of the organization or skill development. Let’s face it. More people get let go because of attitude and lack of fit, than skills.

What to Do About a Bad Boss

So, you’re not an owner. Your boss is, and s/he fails on good communication, good instruction, regular feedback. Can you do something more than complain?

Obviously, yes. If it’s your immediate supervisor we’re talking about, you need to summon the courage to have a frank conversation. You need to be clear on what it is that would help you be a happier employee. And you need to listen if the boss has some things s/he’d like to see from you.

Whatever you do, make the conversation about money only as a last resort. Because if the boss is just a jerk, it’s not more money you should be looking for. It’s a new job.

Our Best Wishes for a Prosperous New Year!

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