Today, I read an article that I thought was interesting – it said that people that leave their jobs often leave because of their bosses. A good boss or a bad boss has a significant impact on whether you stay at your job or not. I thought about it and quietly agreed – some of the best jobs that I’ve had (or at least projects I’ve worked on) have had some of my best managers and vice versa for the worst projects that I’ve been on.
But what is it that bad managers or bosses do? In my experience, these are just a few of the many things that they might do:
They micro-manage you
“Give me the status of the deliverable at lunch and at the end of the day.”
“Please break down the deliverable into the specific sections and let me know the status of each section and what you will be working on tomorrow”
They don’t trust you to do the work. They don’t trust you to be a professional. They think that you are wasting time or on Youtube all day.
They don’t take into account your goals
They give you meaningless task after meaningless task without taking into consideration what you want to learn or what your career goals are. They may even give you work that you are not particularly strong in or enjoy and then criticize you after for not doing a good job.
They change their minds constantly
They give you certain direction and then when you’ve put in a significant number of hours and work into a deliverable or a project, they tell you to change direction. They keep on changing their direction because they’re not sure what the right path forward is but they don’t want to look clueless in front of their team.
They give feedback out but do not ask for feedback from others
They think that they are really great managers that need little to no improvement. They freely give out criticisms and feedback to their team but when their team tries to provide that feedback back to the manager, the manager won’t have anything of it.
They give you unrealistic deadlines
They tell you that something is not a high priority but they need it first thing in the morning. Or they tell you not to work over the weekend but that they need something first thing Monday morning.
They listen to the problems you have but do not help you forward
They listen patiently to the problems you have. A missing stakeholder. A requirement that was changed in the middle of the project. Then they go back to doing their own thing leaving you on your own.
They take all the credit but none of the blame
The project that was completed was high profile, very transformative and quite innovative. So they take all the credit. Or the project was a miserable failure. So they play the blame game on their team. Put up excuses and why it’s not their fault.
They do not care when the team is stressed
The team put in late nights and weekends? The manager goes home early, without thinking about redistributing the work or adding more resources or even helping out.
They are super strict about rules and policies
Working late? You have to pay for your own food and taxi home. Working on the weekends? Have to dress up professionally.
They are interested in staying where they are and not improving every day
They get home. They don’t read the latest articles in the field they are in. They don’t take in feedback from others. They don’t continually take the time to attend training or take courses or read books.
What do you think? What do good managers not do?