Lessons Learned from Bad Bosses

Nov 23, 2015


In my long career in Law Enforcement, I was privileged to able to work for some great supervisors and leaders. I also had my share of bad bosses. While I learned so much from the good bosses, I also learned a lot about leadership from the bad ones. Here are a few leadership lessons I learned from some bad bosses.

1. Don’t make a decision. Be indecisive as long as you can under the guise of trying to get as much information as you can. When a subordinate tries get you make a decision, remind them that there is a lot at stake and you need to consider every possibility before deciding on the issue. If you don’t make a decision, then you can be assured you will not make the wrong decision.

2. Have a different personality every day. Keep your people guessing as to whether Happy Boss, Angry Boss, Depressed Boss, or Driven Boss is going to show up. Exhibiting a different personality every day is a great way to keep our people in line.

3. Dominate every conversation. If one of your employees shares one of their accomplishments, make sure you one-up them with one of your spectacular accomplishments. We can’t have our subordinates outshining us.

4. When you give assignments, make sure you tell your subordinate exactly how to do the job. Even if they think they have a better way to do it, make sure they do it the way you would. We can’t have our people thinking too much for themselves.

5. Don’t learn anything about your subordinate’s personal lives. It is not important for you to know if they are married or have kids to get the most out of them at work. The last thing we would want to do is actually get to know the people that work for us.

6. Take credit for your subordinate’s work. If your team accomplishes their sales goal, make sure you tell your boss how you made it happen. Of course, if your team misses the goal, make sure you let your boss know what a bunch of worthless people you have working for you.

7. If you have to correct or coach one of your team members, make sure you do it in public so that everyone can hear it. Sure, it might be a little embarrassing for the person, but if everyone else hears it, they are less likely to make the same mistake.

What are some lessons that you learned from working for a bad boss?

David and Annie are serving the Lord in Brazil. They are training leaders and helping plant churches all over the country. Your tax-deductible gift will help them continue to have a big impact in so many lives! Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!

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