When it comes to having a boss, not all of us can be lucky enough to have Michael Scott above us. It's not easy being a leader and managing a lot of people, but there are still some undeniable characteristics of people who just aren't good fits for leadership roles. We all like to complain about our higher-ups, but if your boss falls in to one of the following 15 categories, they might actually just be horrible at their job.
They don’t take responsibility or admit to mistakes made.
Even the person in charge screws up every once in a while. As the saying goes, everyone is human — mistakes are made at every level. What's important is being able to hold yourself accountable and admit when you've messed up. Not only does it set a good example, but it establishes trust and respect in the working relationship.
They set the bar WAY too high.
There's nothing wrong with having high expectations. But when a boss is crazy unrealistic with their employees, that's when a problem arises. It's a given that employees will simply stop trying if they feel the set standards are too ridiculously high to realistically achieve.
They care more about being liked than being respected.
Anyone can be liked as a manager: happy hours! Leave work early! Anything goes! What's a lot harder to achieve is a foundation of respect. A good boss knows the fine line between being the bad guy at times and rewarding employees accordingly. This is essential to the function of any workplace.
They over-promise and never deliver.
This is one of the most reliable indicators that a person is untrustworthy. A boss can talk about raises or promotions all they want, but seeing tangible results is a whole other discussion. It's not wrong to feel the need to hold someone higher-up accountable.
They expect you to be JUST like them.
In the professional workforce, imitation is not always the highest form of flattery. A good boss will recognize the fact that blending various personalities on a team is the best way to achieve real progress. A team of all the same individuals would lead to zero improvement.
They have no boundaries.
They ask weird questions about your personal life. They call you on your cell when they know it's your day off. We all know the types of bosses that do this — and they're never good leaders!
Micro-managing is one of the easiest traps for people in leadership positions to fall into. It's also one of the worst things that employees frequently experience. If a boss can't effectively figure out how to moderate without being too hands-on, they likely need to work on their leadership skills.
They obviously play favorites.
It's natural to gravitate towards one person over another. That's just basic human connection. But a boss shouldn't play favorites and make anyone else in the office feel inferior in any way. It's not unreasonable for them to be more fond of one person compared to another — they just should NOT let this impact how they manage the team.
It's much more preferable to receive direct, constructive criticism from your boss than to be told you need to improve in a backhanded way. A boss should be upfront and helpful, not backstabbing and sneaky.
They take all the credit for everything.
A good boss knows that the success of a team belongs to the TEAM, not to the leader of the group exclusively. A bad boss is someone who totally hogs the limelight and doesn't share the credit that others worked hard to earn.
They don’t give you opportunities for growth.
Sometimes opportunities for advancement are truly out of a boss's control, so remember that every situation is different. However, most of the time, there are opportunities for professional and personal growth in the workplace that a good boss will help their employees find. If they don't, they're unfairly stifling you and you have the right to speak up.
Seriously, what is worse than a boss that throws a tantrum? A whiny boss is a sure-fire sign that they lack serious leadership qualities. You gotta be tougher than that!
This one's obvious. Catching someone in a lie is never a good thing, regardless of the situation. Being a boss that lies is about as bad as it gets.
They dig too deep everyday.
There's nothing wrong with spending a day a week working into the late hours of the night. We all get swamped with work at times. However, if you're boss is burning the midnight oil every single night, it's likely an indicator that they're not effective at managing their time and skills. Working too hard can often misconstrue what's dedication and what's mismanagement. Regardless, you should assess the situation if your boss seems to ALWAYS be in over their head.
They use fear tactics.
There's a huge difference between employees working hard because they want to earn respect from a boss and employees working hard because they're afraid of their boss. Fear tactics are never enjoyable and a good boss will find ways to command respect without being too unfairly intimidating.