Image by: David Levitz
By Michael Sterling
It’s a known fact that bosses come in all sorts of colors. Sometimes what you think might be motivational and productive ends up being the worst thing you can do for the office morale. In fact, according to studies, the majority of employees quit their job because of their boss. In this day and age, you can’t afford to lose a good worker. Here are a few traits you should probably keep at bay:
#1) The Know-It-All
If you think you’re God’s greatest gift to business, think again. There’s a difference between being inspiring and preachy. No one wants to constantly hear you proclaim that you know everything corporate is thinking, nor do they want to hear all your rants and “advice” on how they should live their lives.
Often times the Know-It-All gets his strategy from good experiences, meaning, he had a boss or authority figure that inspired him to be this way. But for it to reach an invasive level shows it might be an attempt to “prove” how smart he is because he might not feel secure about it himself. This can be dangerous.
Over time, the Know-It-All won’t be able to listen to anyone else but your own voice which makes it hard to collaborate and hear new ideas. Every voice is important in business and as a leader, you will receive partial acclaim anyway – so let it go. The more you preach, the less your workers will want to share.
#2) The Cowardly Introvert
Sure he might be smart, incredibly intuitive and even prove to be an incredible force, but the Cowardly Introvert is too scared to deal with his employees. He’s much more comfortable behind his computer screen, delegating by email or phone, leaving his employees to try and remember what his face looks like.
Here’s the issue. When you’re not engaging your staff, you will never inspire them. In order to be a leader, you need followers. No one wants to follow a reclusive personality. The kind of message this sends is closed-mindedness. People want to feel like their job means something and if you’re not reminding them on a daily basis, who will?
#3) The Wannabe Clown
Stop using your office meetings as an opportunity to practice your standup routine. If you’re a funny guy, trust me, it’ll read regardless. Piss poor attempts at trying to make everyone laugh is painfully transparent. You don’t need to continuously prove that you’re “cool.” Show it through your personality, not by comic bits.
Not that funny bosses are a bad thing. In fact, humor is one of the best ways in gaining trust. But there’s a difference between laughing/teasing and joke telling/funny picture emailing. Leave that to the HR department. Know when you’re going overboard.
#4) The A**Hole
We’ve all experienced one of this in our lifetime, so why bother to repeat the pattern? It never ends well. The bullying, the nastiness and lack of sympathy will never create productivity. In order to maintain a great morale, you need trust. Running a business takes a village and when there’s distrust, there’s destruction.
More often than not, the A**Hole feels entitled. Perhaps he worked his way up from the bottom and feels like he deserves it, or maybe he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and skipped empathy lessons as a child. Whatever the case may be, the focus should always be on the staff’s well-being, not to preserve a fantasy.
#5) Mr. Nice Guy
Here’s the thing about nice guys. They tend to not have boundaries that people stick to. When there are no boundaries, there’s less limits, and when there’s few limits, there’s less value. Mr. Nice Guys rarely inspire people to follow them. Sure they might be well-liked, but when it’s easy for employees to not take them seriously when he makes an important decision.
Stop worrying about what people think about you. At the end of the day, your employees rarely remember how you act or lead. They always remember how you make them feel. Focus on making them feel good, but never become vulnerable. A good leader can be nice and aggressive when he has to be.