Most of us are not freelancers, digital nomads or CEOs but employees, even if we can do freelance work. And I’m referring to myself as well. The most influential element in our work is not money or benefits – It’s the boss. Yes, that person who can make our life “heaven” or drag us (kicking and screaming) to hell. The boss is the person you have a lot of interaction with. They also “control” your destiny at work.
Most people have some complaints regarding their boss. Present company included. What is the cause of that? Why is your boss not doing a good job? After all, most of us know exactly what to do about it. Below are eight reasons why your boss sucks.
1. The boss man is actually just a… man
Most bosses are not successful or driven, and lack a high emotional IQ like most business magazines would have you believe. They issues in their personal lives and character flaws, just like we have.
I have worked for grouchy people: females with a ticking biological clock and men who are going through divorce. Those people may have our sympathy, but only for a short while. It gets old very fast, and we start to feel the grind of just being around them.
2. Being in charge is hard
I don’t know about you, but when I was heading teams and departments – that was tough. You manage people who are completely different, you need to make hard choices even if you are not ready for them and you also need to answer to your own boss. Telling me to “suck it up” is fine, but it does not help much. If you are a regular employee, it’s easy to focus on doing your own thing. When you manage a team, you are now a kindergarten teacher.
I have met people who were subject to the “Peter Principle” – they were good employees and got promoted to team leaders. Once there, they had many issues dealing with their teams. One person I worked with became a team leader. He had good tech skills, but was a “nice guy” (in the worse sense of the word). He had trouble giving feedback and some of the team would simply “walk all over him”.
3. They learned from the wrong man
Throughout human history, most people learned by being an apprentice. If you were a carpenter, blacksmith or farmer, you worked for a few years under someone’s guidance. But what happens if your mentor sucks?
In that case you pick bad habits that stick with you.
I have seen people emulate their boss’ bad attitude, since they thought that this “gets the job done”. They have terrible people skills and are proud of it. The same way that game-denialists say that you are unauthentic when you use game. If you studied the wrong material, you will fail the test.
4. The boss was promoted even though he is not a manager
Being a good manager is not the main reason people get promoted but politics, work skills, and timing. Managing people is usually not on the list. I myself have been such a boss. I had no idea how to manage people and did a poor job of it in the first year.
5. Poor (if any) training
Most companies simply do not train their managers. You should learn “on the job” and with no resources invested. Sometimes middle managers go to specific seminars, classes or formal training, and this is the exception to the norm. I want to mention that most of those trainings are not for C-level executives, who usually needs them more.
6. Power abuse
“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
Imperfect people + power = trouble.
7. Lack of accountability
Most people want to do their job well, even manage. But some people just don’t care. For example, your boss may be humiliating the staff, but he gets results. They may have dirt on their supervisors, so they have to tolerate them, or in the worst case both hierarchies share the same behavior. In other cases, the boss has no one to answer to. If they are even slightly sadistic, you are going to suffer. Even if they are not, their flaws are going to be your problem.
8. He doesn’t know how to give feedback
Most people have no idea how they are perceived. This means no feedback loop. The employees know their boss very well – methods, behaviors and quirks. It is very rare that employees share that knowledge with the boss. This means that instead of correcting their ways, the bosses keep on doing what they’ve done for years. This is because people fear “Kill the messenger” syndrome. Some people just don’t want to hear bad things about themselves. This is why being truly honest with women gets you nowhere.
Your boss is an ordinary person, with regular problems. That affects you, and may hurt you, but understanding why your boss sucks lays the foundation for correcting your situation.
Read Next: Don’t Work For A Female Boss