The other day I had lunch with an old friend who just had resigned, she had some while ago got a new boss and it was the boss from Hell! I assume that everyone, at some point in their career, has had a boss from hell.
She explained how the new boss in a short amount of time had crushes her daily spirit and he constantly reminded her of her role and place in the organization. So now it was time to leave the company. The new boss micromanage her in every detail and had no visions of where he would lead the company. She described it just like being on a ship where the captain is just standing on the bridge wondering what to do. If that was not enough, the new boss also demanded to be informed about the smallest thing and had to approve things down to the smallest detail. The only thing he could bring out was that no one knows the future. She totally lost her confidence due to the behaviour of the new boss. He questions every move she made and never let her complete anything on her own. He had totally lack of trust, which ultimately drove her to seek approval for every small task that was needed to be complete. She experiences no inspiration by her new boss, he was a man leading by fear and incapable of leading by example. He had absolutely nothing to offer her in the way of motivation or inspiration for her or the organization. He totally demoralized the self-worth of all his nearest employees.
She was so frustrated because her new boss had a clear refusal to make a decision. So he rather postponed all decisions and created considerable fuss in the organization. Just like the ostrich, he sticks his head in the sand and hopes the problems will disappear and he will not have to decide anything. Because of his indecisiveness, projects get delayed repeatedly. However, when it comes time to make a deadline, he still expects all others to hit the deadline. Although he is the plug in the system.
Research shows that good bosses are a rare breed, and it is better to pick a boss than a company. As many as 60 to 75 % of bosses are unfit for leadership. We have all heard the sayings, People do not leave companies, they leave managers. People do not quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.
A toxic boss compels good employees to leave their jobs even when they like the company and this is how:
They diminish employees by micromanage them. Bosses that micromanage their employees, diminish their employee’s performance and underutilize available employee talent. This means that the organization does not get the benefit of hiring great people with experiences, skills, and creativity. Employees tend to shrink in their roles when their bosses micromanage them by doing this.
They neglect to solicit staff input. A toxic boss neglect to solicit employee input cause employees to disengage. A toxic boss does not really value their employees, and the employees can feel it. In turn, employees stop making their best effort.
They encourage agreement while discouraging dissent. A toxic boss creates “yes men” by rewarding perpetual agreement with their ideas and decisions and punishing dissenters. They seek to hire and surround themselves with people who will uplift their own fragile egos even when it is detrimental to organizational success.
They fail to provide resources and cannot be bothered to remove obstacles. Effective bosses provide resources and they remove obstacles to ensure their employees and teams can be successful. Toxic bosses do not even take the time to evaluate what is necessary for success. They are not asking thoughtful, strategic questions or making employees feel safe enough to request what they need.
They have an integrity deficit and display unethical behaviour. A toxic boss does not look beyond their own needs and interests, and they operate from a perspective of what works for them should work for everyone. These types of bosses often challenge good employees to compromise their own integrity and ethics to remain in good graces.
A toxic boss thrives in chaos Because it is more difficult to hold them accountable for performance failures in a chaotic culture. They always explain that the company did not reach the goals due to changes in the market, framework conditions and external parameters. They push all the problems over to their employees. Of course, the boss is never the problem.
They totally lack cultural competence and are not committed to diversity and do not value inclusion. They demote or promote staff based on subjective, rather than objective, merits. Toxic bosses reward those who support their bad behaviours. Bad bosses create toxic and hostile environments without regard for how it negatively impacts others. They do it because they are insecure. They do it because they are afraid. They do it because they can.
They have poor communication skills A toxic boss rarely communicates effectively. Deadlines, priorities, and goals constantly change, but you only uncover this news when a colleague casually mentions it in passing, instead of through your boss. Or when your boss seems annoyed that you did not meet an expectation that you were not aware existed. You would think great communication skills would be a prerequisite for becoming a manager, but unfortunately this is not always the case.
They set unrealistic expectations A good leader challenge you with high expectations, but toxic bosses can sabotage you with unrealistic goals that is impossible to achieve.
The best advice is if you have a toxic boss, hand in your resignation as soon as possible and get away as quickly as possible before the boss crushes your daily spirit and self-confidence. Do not pick a future a job, pick your future boss instead.