I was interviewed earlier his month about bosses by the Wall Street Journal's Diana Middleton. Her story " Five Signs You're a Bad Boss " came out recently. The five signs are:
I was especially taken with point 4 in Diane's list, as it is a sign of bosses who lack both competence and consideration for their people: New bosses are particularly prone to giving unmanageable deadlines to staffers, says Gini Graham Scott, author of "A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses." A human resources executive at a New York firm who declined to be named because she's currently looking for a new position, says that she began working 15-hour days after her new boss came on board. Her boss' first order of business: Promising more aggressive deadlines to clients. "She would tell the client, 'We can have this for you in three days,' which was impossible," says this woman. I have not thought about this one enough, but it really strikes me as diagnostic. Yes, there are always emergencies that a boss cannot control, but when the boss does not have the skill to prevent such relentless hours from becoming a way of life or the backbone to protect his people from such exploitation, it is a pretty good sign of a bad boss. Clearly, this is not as complete or detailed list. Creating one would be impossible in such a short space. I would also caution that yelling is complicated, and is sometimes a sign of an over-passionate boss that might otherwise be good. And even the best bosses - as with all human-beings - may succeed despite these and other flaws. Certainly, to pick some famous bosses who were sometimes given to yelling, Vince Lombardi and Steve Jobs certainly both were given to screaming now and then. I am not defending their actions, but there are times that people with flaws are worth the trouble, especially if they are embedded in teams that can dampen their flaws.