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Nasty Bosses

Updated on July 29, 2015

Nasty bosses destroy staff morale

The Bossinator (Poor People skills + Terminator Attitude = Bossinator)

Like many predators the Bossinator disguise himself / herself as a harmless and approachable creature, while inside he/she is plotting a plan to destroy your day and suck the morale out of your team. Bossinators are often insecure and feel like they have to show you how big their fangs are, in order for you to fear and respect them. The Bossinator will portray an entirely different persona when in the company of other equal or more superior animals (aka, other managers, his / her supervisor and directors) in order to blend in and not be seen as the ‘weak link’. But the good news is, this ‘show’ that the Bossinator puts on for the more superior animals, never lasts for too long, as the business suffer. Bossinators are the Terminators of office morale.

Terminator + Bad Boss = Bossinator
Terminator + Bad Boss = Bossinator | Source

How Bossinators can destroy a good business

Not everyone has the skills and abilities to manage other people and Bossinators are often created when experienced BUT unsuitable people (severe lack of people or management skills) are promoted / hired to manage others; which ends up in utter disaster. Besides the financial loss of staff turnover, low company morale; having a Bossinator also has a negative effect on you (physically, mentally and emotionally) as well as it impacts negatively on your home life.

Effects on prey (aka employees) who work under the Bossinator:

  • Stress
  • Absenteeism and low productivity
  • Lowered self-esteem and depression
  • Anxiety (nervousness)
  • Digestive upsets (nerves)
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia (unable to sleep due to being worried about work)
  • Trouble with relationships due to stress over work (fighting with family and friends because you are unhappy at work)

Consequences that Bossinators have on your business:

  • High turnover, which is expensive for companies as they invest in hiring and training new employees only to lose them shortly thereafter, possibly to a competitor
  • Low productivity since employees are not motivated to do their best and are more often out sick due to stress-related illnesses
  • Lost innovations as the Bossinator will only approve an idea, if he / she came up with it or if it will benefit him / her own career

Now I am sure, that if you have ever worked for a Bossinator, you have concluded that you do not get paid enough to put up with all the nonsense that goes with the job.

Some characteristics of a Bossinator:

The Dictator – Dictates and does not ask. ‘Because I said so!’ – sound familiar? Bossinator tends to make demands on people without gaining input from the person they’re managing. These bosses tend not to listen well and are not good at taking feedback.

The Warden – continually on a power trip. Bossinator are always too busy to take the time to communicate to the people who will be impacted by the information. They withhold information as a form of power and justify the style as only communicating when people “need to know.”

The Shoveler – Always shoveling the ‘Crap downhill’. Takes credit and passes the blame. Bossinator are way too busy to take the time to recognize people for what’s going well or right and loves to take the credit when things go exceptionally well, especially when they have had nothing to do with the work. AND when things go bad, Bossinators will throw you under the bus, first chance they get. Your boss always focusses on your mistakes and never rewards your achievements. Nobody likes to be surrounded by negativity, which has a negative impact on team morale.

The Ruler - The only balance they like is the balance of their bank account! Bossinators do not value or respect the work-life balance of his/her staff. These Bossinators have little respect for team members’ personal time. These managers feel that since they are the boss, the employee should feel grateful to have a job. With a commodity type of attitude, these managers assume they should have 24-7 access for placing demands on their team members.

The Illusionist – Pretends to trust his / her employees but does not and neither do the employees trust the Bossinator. Trust plays an enormous role in the development of a relationship but Bossinators tend to communicate what they think they need to communicate to accomplish their goal, rather than telling people the truth. The consequence of this, is that your team members would not trust anything the boss has to say because it is impossible for them to know when their boss is telling the truth or if it is just another smoke-screen to deceive them. Not trusting their team makes it impossible for their team members to get things done. When Bossinators do not trust their team, they tend to not delegate or micromanage the team member or will end up doing the tasks themselves. As I am sure you have heard “well if you want the job done right – do it yourself” This is the life motto for Bossinator. With little trust, they justify their command and control management style. The end result is usually a lack of communication with the team, resulting in delayed projects. Staff will not feel comfortable to approach the boss to discuss any personal issues, as there is no assurance that the matter will remain private. When there is no trust amongst staff and managers then there is poor morale. Trust is also broken with the boss makes empty promises and does not keep his / her word.

The Chameleon – Adapting to the situation while inside, maintaining the “You are just a number: attitude towards his / her team. Bossinators treat people like a commodity. A Bossinator could not care less if it is you or someone else who gets the job done, as long as the job gets done and done right. They place all the value on the task and very little value on the relationship with the people who are doing the task. Bossinator have a hard time saying two of the most powerful words in the English language, “thank you.” They will treat your achievements, as though you have only management to meet the basic requirements. And only when pushed or cornered where there are other managers around to see – then they will vocalize how wonderful you are, so that they are seen as the motivating and caring boss.

The Breaker – Has complete disregard for employees. Bossinators feel that it is alright to communicate to someone in a disrespectful manner. Disrespectful communication makes many people feel inferior and / or inadequate as an individual and as a team member. Bossinators have the bad habit of giving a team member negative feedback in front of others on the team, this automatically affects that team member’s self-confidence / self-worth and it will affect the entire team’s morale.

The Climber - Bossinators are great at kissing up to their boss or others in power. They try to make themselves look good while treating people below them poorly. Why? Well if they can show their supervisors that they can control their staff while achieving business goals and deliverables then they are a valuable asset and should be recognized as such. Bossinators love being praised by their supervisors and will gladly flaunt their achievements (even if they do not deserve it).

The Crusher - Does not promote innovation within his / her team and when team member has an idea, he / she shuts the team member’s idea down without even reviewing the information. It is quite common for bosses like these to also overlook and dismiss personal issues / conflict within the team, stating that the parties involved need to resolve it themselves. Dismissive bosses leave their teams feeling unsupported and unappreciated.

The Soloist - There is NO ‘I’ in TEAM. Bossinators love themselves and continuously use ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’ when referring to work. What Bossinators have trouble saying when great things have been accomplished is we. They do not recognize team work as an accomplishment, but rather as a means to an end for his/her career.

Now many of these common predators, referred to as Bossinators often display one or more of the above traits. How you approach them will depend mainly on how many traits that they display and to what severity.

The Dictator
The Dictator | Source

What can you do to improve your working environment?

Change your perspective. As long as you see your Bossinator as the ‘enemy’ your boss will be the enemy. Let it go and see your Bossinator for who he/she really is - just your boss. Remember, you were selected for this job, because you are good at what you do and have the knowledge and skills that they need from you. You are not just a tool in their toolbox. You have invested many years in your training so that you can develop your career and you should not let one Bossinator, deter your from your success. If we were to resign and move on every time we experience a Bossinator, well then it would not be called the Recruitment Process but the Prey Eliminating Process, which will allow you to ‘run and hide’ your way through organizations, until you met perfect boss. Don't make judgments or put labels on the boss. Shifting your perspective will help you to begin to shift the energy around how you think and respond to your boss.

Manage your Bossinator. When you find yourself in the situation whereby you are being managed by a ‘Bossinator’ the most important thing you can do, is to manage him/her. By learning and understanding what your boss wants and doesn't want, his / her likes and dislikes, and what exactly is expected from you. Sometimes Bossinators love to micro-manage their staff and enjoy daily reports or time sheets stipulating exactly what you do all day. Of course this is completely ridiculous and time consuming, but if it makes your boss happy and keeps him / her off of your back – it is a small price to pay for your career. Remember, you work your boss and him / she pays your salary, so as long as what your boss is asking for is legal, then it is your job no matter how ridiculous it may seem to you.

FACT - Your Bossinator is not going to change. As depressing as this sounds the sad fact is, your Bossinator is not going to change. Some people think that if they just do their job better, faster, or more elegantly, the boss will see how valuable they are and change their evil ways. It is important for your to realize that your boss is not going to change, because chances are, he / she feels that he / she is an awesome manager. If change is going to happen, it is going to be up to you. You will have to change the way you interact with your boss. Once you begin to act differently, the boss may respond differently, or not, but it will be up to you to make the change and you will be in control of your own actions and responses.

You do not have to like your boss in order for you to do your work. But you do need to maintain a professional relationship with him / her. That means that you do not complain, gossip about your boss or intentionally go over your boss’s head - you get your job done and done right! I have worked with bosses (both male and female bosses) that I could not stand, but they never knew it. I was polite, respectful, and did my job. It was not always easy, but it made a difficult situation tolerable. Those bosses all left the organization way before I did and I was known for the person who was able to work with difficult people. I was rewarded for the way in which I handled them, so me ‘biting my tongue’ paid off in the end.

Document everything!!! Keep your nose clean. It is important that you cover your butt, every step of the way. The largest risk of having a Bossinator, is that he / she will attack when cornered, so you better be prepared to defend yourself, when the time comes. Documentation will support you if you ever have to file a complaint. Keep detailed records about the interactions with your boss, the work you are doing, and anything else that may seem important. Documenting what you do just makes good sense. Also remember to include documentation from clients which were happy with your work. It will also help you at the end of the year when you are trying to remember everything you did. Don't expect your boss to remember; even a great boss won't. They have way too much to do. It is up to you to keep detailed records of how you are contributing to the organization.


NEVER TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS TOWARDS YOUR BOSSINATOR WITH ANYONE IN THE WORKPLACE!!!! Find someone outside of your work environment to talk with. Do not talk with other people at work about your hard-assed Bossinator, because it will get back to him / her. This would be instant destruction for you and your career if you are caught gossiping or ‘spreading roomers’ about your boss and then it won’t matter how nasty your boss is – you will be seen as the toxic person in the team. Find someone who can give you an unbiased opinion and help you create a strategy to manage the boss. This will help you to defuse some of your frustration and support you in creating healthy ways to handle the situation.

The Breaker - Public Humiliation
The Breaker - Public Humiliation | Source

The Real Reason for Bad Bosses

Research literature shows the importance of supervisor-subordinate relationships. They are one of the principal drivers of employee engagement or it’s opposite, turnover. So why are there so many bad bosses? After all, each year companies spend billions on leadership training and development. And the number of books on how to be a better, more effective leader must be approaching infinity, with much of the advice around for literally decades.


This read more link will take you to the CBS News Website.

Nasty Boss Book

I purchased this book when I was struggling with a nasty boss at the time. Really good read.
I purchased this book when I was struggling with a nasty boss at the time. Really good read. | Source


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