Do We Need Bosses Anymore?


I took this idea from “Should we Banish Bosses” by Wendy Appal.

She sums it up like this:

The most valuable things my former bosses did was to share information from above and across the organization; to set the vision and direction; to jointly set my goals and objectives; to advocate for me and my ideas; to make sure I got salary increases and bonuses; to approve vacation dates.

My former bosses also held me accountable to honor my agreements and commitments, to adhere to the organization’s ethics and standards and to be the best I could be.

One of the most unnecessary functions they performed was the annual performance review. By the time I got my review, the information was so stale, it grew mold and had to be tossed.

A comprehensive list of destructive boss behaviors can be found in the Forbes article. If the list weren’t so real and tragic, it would be funny.

Ideally, bosses are available to advise and counsel, to sooth and encourage, to help build confidence, to motivate and inspire … Ideally a boss is someone who is wise and transmits that wisdom to help their direct reports develop, grow and thrive both personally and professionally.

If part of the problem is the title Boss / Manager, I continued to wonder, what alternative is there?

This took me to “The 31 Signs You are a Horrible Boss”

No one starts out their career trying to be a horrible boss.  Yet, it’s amazing what a vast majority of folks seem to accomplish this feat with absolutely no training whatsoever.

Maybe we’re born bad bosses.  It just comes naturally.

Hopefully, you can shake off some of the worst traits.

The first step for any addict is recognizing his or her problems.  So, start by reviewing the list below.

How many of these do you violate?

These are the 31 telltale signs you are a horrible boss — and what you probably think of each of these points:

While I’m not going to go through all 31, I will call out a few that stuck out for me.

8. There’s constant turnover in your group.  People are constantly quitting or being asked to transfer out.  Change is good.  New blood on the team helps bring in new perspectives.  So what if some people left?  They weren’t up to the challenge of what you’re building here.  It’s not for everyone.  It takes a special person to be able to work under you.

This was my last boss at IBM.  I got a review that said be more independent, but run everything through me.  People left in droves.

Here is the list of thing good bosses should never do courtesy of Leadership Freak

Not doing is one side of finding success.

  1. Never let the bottom line be the bottom line.
  2. Never pretend things are ok when they aren’t.
  3. Never let what you’ve never done be the reason not to try.
  4. Never get ahead by resenting those who get ahead. – This one is for my boss who is now the Director of PR for Lenovo
  5. Never let those who aren’t doing something prevent you for doing something.
  6. Never do on the road what you wouldn’t do at home.
  7. Never trust anyone who never admits mistakes.
  8. Never achieve greatness through negativity.
  9. Never pretend you can do what you can’t.
  10. Never let others fail before doing everything appropriate to help them succeed.
  11. “An executive has never suffered because his subordinates were strong and effective.” Peter Drucker
  12. Never find wisdom in excuses, defensiveness, or blame.
  13. Never think of loyalty as a gift.
  14. Never waffle when it comes to taking responsibility.
  15. Never waver when it comes to giving credit.
  16. Never make excuses. “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.” JohnWooden

Bonus: Never create the future by recreating the past.

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