How to spot a Horrible Boss
The movie Horrible Bosses is released this month. Stanford academic Bob Sutton has made a point over the last few years of delving into what it is exactly that makes some bosses so bad. He first coined the phrase bosshole in his 2007 book The No Asshole Rule. The online urban dictionary defines a bosshole as:
Bosshole “an employer of a particularly evil nature, completely devoid of empathy or concern for anyone else. the deadly hybrid of boss and asshole.”
In his subsequent book Good Boss, Bad Boss he outlined various ways you can identify a bad boss (or bosshole if you will). Here is his 10 point checklist
1. Kisses-up and kicks-down: If your boss is sycophantic to his boss, but super tough on those beneath him there’s a strong chance he could be a bosshole.
2. Can't take it: Dishing out criticism is second nature to this boss, but if ire is turned on him then his skin proves very thin indeed.
3. Short fuse: Anger is fine now and then, but if it’s a permanent fixture it can quickly breed a culture of fear, which is not a good thing at all.
4. Bad credit: You do the work, they take the credit. Sound familiar? This is a common trait of a bosshole. The best bosses give credit where it’s due and make stars of their team.
5. Canker sore: Your boss decides to participate in your team activities, how do they often turn out? Is it harmonious or full of conflict? Talent is no excuse for being a bosshole.
6. Flamer: Email provides an easy channel for venting. Is your boss a keyboard warrior that uses poor email etiquette to flame others, blind carbon copying to cover his back and other poor email form?Continued on the next page