How to be a Bad Boss

Have you ever wondered if you have a bad boss?

Perhaps you have had some uncomfortable run in's with them, or noticed some suspicious behavior, maybe you have even caught them in the act of outright cheating or stealing. Well if you have ever needed any confirmation that you're boss is indeed far below the level, you will find your answer here.

See if any of the 25 characteristics of a Bad Boss seem to apply.

25 Bad Boss Characteristics


  • 1: Always surrounds self with plenty of people to blame for anything that goes wrong.
  • 2: Creates an environment of confusion, so that no one can really understand what their job is, this makes it much simpler to pass the buck when necessary.
  • 3: Plans of any kind are always made in private then dictated to your subordinates as rudely as possible.
  • 4: All new plans, policies, or procedures are undocumented leaving the ability open for change of mind whenever necessary with no formal notification to anyone.
  • 5: Holds all employees to a very strict and high standards of conduct, without the ability to personally to abide by them.
  • 6: When questioned about actions, they have always been sure to have mentioned them to someone in some way so they can say that they had approval for taking some action no matter what it may be.
  • 7: Always blames the person who is not in the room.
  • 8: Creates a complex chain of command impossible to follow productively so employees will be reprimanded no matter what course of action is taken.
  • 9: No clear goals and objectives are presented to people doing their work, they are just made to go work and instructed to meet undefined expectations.
  • 10: If a subordinate is to complain they are sure not to be allowed to leave the office thinking badly. An explanation about how an employees perception is distorted should always be presented.
  • 11: If a subordinate insists on sticking to their thoughts and will not succumb to a particular point of view, make it known that they are the real cause of the problem.
  • 12: Self determined relaxing paid hours are a must.
  • 13: Swift action is taken in the case that a subordinate takes an unauthorized break.
  • 14: When someone comes up with a logical idea that might interfere with plans of grandeur, the Bad Boss is sure to sabotage it as soon as possible.
  • 15: Responsability is never, never, taken for anything.
  • 16: When asking an employee a question they are sure to correct them repeatedly on their answer if it is not to thier expectation.
  • 17: The boss's shedule is for the boss to know only. This makes it possible to make everything going along.
  • 18: When something works right make sure to take credit for it, or at the very least place yourself in a position that makes it appear that you are involved. If your clearly not involved in it of don't understand it, it must be destroyed.
  • 19: Suppress all comments made by employees on the up and up in the presence of your manager.
  • 20: Constantly talks about all of the job duties they perform.
  • 21: Has employees perform all job duties.
  • 22: The Bad Boss is as rude as possible when sending phone or text messages to subordinates. This technique is sure to cut down on the amount of communication received from employees.
  • 23: Always blames any issues on improper training, of self or employees. They never seem to have the right tools to do the job.
  • 24: Holds secret meetings excluding certain employees so as to keep them suspicious of one another, taking the attention away from you.
  • 25: Makes sure that any attempts to make things better are met with ridicule and termination.

The Sad Truth

If one or many of these characteristics rings true, you have a Baaaad Boss!

Unfortunately for those of us who really are logical, creative, charismatic, and have a shred of integrity are subjected to these unscrupulous individuals all too often.

Even more unfortunately these foolish individuals get their way more often than not.

After all their time & effort is devoted to being the lowest of the low, getting by on the backs of others achievements, and working hard at doing nothing, they should at least be good at that.

More by this Author


Any Characteristics that Should be Added to the List? 12 comments

jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

#1 is so true and is very rampant in many companies. The lack of accountability is just nauseating. Leaders must be accountable and must not simple find someone to blame. Being in the field of training and dvelopment I've had my share of your #23. Blaming training. Of course training must be done to improve performance, skills and knowledge. But there is a learning curve for everyone.

I can name someone for every number here. Voted up!


fren123 profile image

fren123 4 years ago from Malaysia

Maybe should add:

Always make good employees who go against their wishes do all kinds of 'out of the world' jobs. Listening and accepting false accusations about these good employees. Finally, forcing these employees to leave their jobs.


thoughthole profile image

thoughthole 4 years ago from Utah Author

So now you know jpcmc, you have had some bad boss encounters, as if you really needed the list to figure it out, right? It feels good to know that your not the only one though. Thanks for your great comment.


thoughthole profile image

thoughthole 4 years ago from Utah Author

Ah ha! Thank you fren123, I belive your comment has fully captured a good portion of todays events that are directly related to what prompted me to write this hub. This is a valuable contribution to the list, would you mind if I add it on as number 26? You have incredible intution BTW! Thank You


DD713 4 years ago

OMG...Three of my friends have a boss that fits every one if those!


friend friend 4 years ago

Amen! All numbers ring true! I have resigned positions for these very reasons myself. Thank you for the refreshing; relateable truth!


thoughthole profile image

thoughthole 4 years ago from Utah Author

DD713 today your eyes have been opened. Your three friends are being ruthlessly subjected to Bad Bosses,and their nasty behavior. Your friends are so lucky to be aquanted with such an open and aware individual such as yourself. Kudos to you, Thx for the comment.


thoughthole profile image

thoughthole 4 years ago from Utah Author

friend x2, seriously all of the numbers? No wonder you resigned that is one heavy case of bad shiz to have indured. You made an excellent choice in getting yourself out of the situation. Thank you for the comment, and watch out for those big bad bosses.


Greenthumb#1 4 years ago

Thank you thank you thank you. It's good to know that there are more people out there with horrible bosses. Just wish there was something that could be done to help these bad bosses realize they are not being human.


thoughthole profile image

thoughthole 4 years ago from Utah Author

Thank you Greenthumb #1, Take comfort in knowing that the Laws of the Universe are always in effect, and whether we witness their effects or not the venomous bosses will recoup all that they put out.


fren123 profile image

fren123 4 years ago from Malaysia

There is another one to add:

Brings young children to workplace every day. Then expects the nanny to care for them, even encourages staff to bring their children to work if nobody cares for them at home. When these children play and make lots of noise, the boss starts to blame everybody except himself!

He hides in his own office and will only make an appearance whenever he hears a child, presuming his, cries. Sometimes he makes some very generous gestures by giving away toys and small cheap gifts to these children.


thoughthole profile image

thoughthole 4 years ago from Utah Author

fren123 it sounds as if the boss that you speak of is running an illegal daycare operation, which may include just a hint of slave labor. Super Bad!!!

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