I had a friend of mine tug for my ear last week and it was quite an interesting conversation (read: she talked, I listened and chuckled quite a bit). Given how animated she was, I have to remember how serious the situation is (and potentially could have become), but it just leads you to wonder how some people are hired into positions of leadership and management. In some cases, it certainly isn’t acumen. In others, it definitely isn’t people skills and emotional intelligence. While we are all human, and have varying degrees of egocentricity, one of the conscious decisions someone who is elevated to leadership must make is to place their ego aside as pertains to their subordinates.
EASIER SAID THAN DONE, AND OBVIOUSLY NOT EASY IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT.
If you hearken back to the film released in 2011, Horrible Bosses, you’ll understand how relevant — albeit extremely depicted — each of the three bosses were in the film. The movie is hilarious and pulling, because most people who have ever worked in corporate America can relate; having had a boss that fit the description of one of those superiors at some point in time in their careers… if they’ve worked long enough. Young people who are entering the corporate arena for the first time are experiencing the culture shock as we speak. A hoard of recent graduates with nothing more than retail experience, under the table side jobs and internships are learning how important being shrewd, “playing the game” and using conniving and busybody types for your own good, before you end up as their culprit.
RECAPPING THE MOVIE, BY BOSS TYPE:
You have the boss who was the perfect one; looked out for you, sincerely wanted you to do well, and was ready to put their name on the line for your future’s sake in your career.
(Most of my bosses have been like this).
You have the douche son of the boss who cares about nothing more than snorting coke and banging slags that he pays for, while only living to spite you and make your life miserable because he (or she) is erstwhile insecure around someone who is all around superior to them in every phase of life besides their inherited wealth.
(I’ve had a boss like this).
You have the smarmy, sexually-charged/inappropriate boss who drops sexual innuendo at every turn, is willing to blackmail you if you do not comply, and will spread vicious rumors, stopping at no length to conquer you as prey.
(I’ve had a boss like this, and she was indirectly responsible for my departure from Aetna in 2005).
And you also have the boss who likes to pull rank just to get his jollies; bragging about his material possessions — as that is all that he/she has over you — if they even do. They toy with your emotions, continually disrespect you, just asking to be beat down (or worse), and can’t take it when you cross the line (after they initially did so in every discernible sense).
(I’ve had a couple of these, not saying WHERE).
Then you have those who have been where you are, did not inherit wealth, and never forgot where they came from. That’s sometimes the perfect boss (outside of being your OWN boss, which I have been off and on for the past decade).
(I had one at Aetna, and for inexplicable reasons, I was shifted from her unit to the unit that did everything they could to get me out of the door).
When you are cocky, educated, articulate, and can outwit almost everyone that comes at you sideways, you are going to make people insecure. Never do you find out how insecure they are until you are in a jackpot with them and they fail to comply with company policies, especially as pertains to your welfare and their protocol as a leader. Only then do you realize how horrible some bosses are and begin to wonder fervently why some people ever get promoted beyond the MAIL ROOM.
Leave your thoughts and insight on this… and share some of your horrible boss stories…