SEP 19 2019

Good Boss vs Bad Boss

Rishika Raj

TAGS : Leadership , teamwork

Good Boss vs Bad Boss

With great power comes great responsibility. Any workspace is a quintessential example of yin and yang. It is important to craft an amicable working ambiance that would harness both the creative and professional best of the employees. Bosses/Managers/leaders are the backbone of any creative or corporate firm. A poll conducted in 2018 revealed from job search site Monster, that 76% of employees had issues with the tyrannical behavior of their boss while only 19% of respondents described their boss as a mentor, imparting growth on both professional and personal fronts. It's truly quoted 'an employee quits on a bad boss, not a company', leadership fads will come and go but a leadership based on integrity and trust would stay concrete. A good boss is capable of both inspiring and aspiring an employee by building an open and transparent work environment.

Let's decode the knacks of a Good boss.

1. Great listeners:

A good boss spends a maximum of his energy in flare communication. A medium of transparent communication is set up for the team members individually and together as a collective unit to ensure everyone has the information they need. Listening is a trait that 88% of employees value in a boss. However, only 60% of employees say their boss 'listens' to them. Listening is often misunderstood by the bosses with best intentions and they sadly end up 'hearing out their team members only to speak next'. To listen is to deeply understand the insight of a conversation and gauge the buy-in of the employee.

2. No Favoritism:

For a good boss, there's no ground for favoritism. He understands the creative and skill diversity in his team and makes the best out of it rather than playing cronyism to torpedo workspace morale. A good boss creates and cultivates a sense of camaraderie, where people feel it is fun to come to work because it is a positive and productive environment and they feel they are part of an efficient, skilled, and highly successful community.

3. Humane first:

Rather than hurling and insulting the employees to establish an upper hand, good bosses value their employees as human beings. They believe in co-existing and respect the time, effort and contribution of their employees in the firm. Good bosses often reach out to their employees to get their insights and opinions. They are not nice for the sake of being nice, they do care about the dreams and goals of their employees. They are flexible and often tailors their approach towards their employees because they understand that one size won't fit all in a creative diverse place. Above all, a great boss empathizes with their employees and values efforts over perfection.

4. Fair accountability and acknowledgment:

Maintaining accountability is a big part of office morale, and it encourages workers to act with integrity, leading to excellent workplace culture. Good bosses don't pick a scapegoat or explain away mistakes. Experienced managers hold themselves accountable when they fail to create a workplace that's a safe environment for experimentation. An outstanding and sustained performance of an employee is acknowledged and credited publicly by a good boss which fuels the work enthusiasm.

5. Ask and approach:

Insecure bosses bark out orders to establish their dominance. Good leaders say the magic word and are generally polite to their employees, Bosses should build trust with their employees by providing a reasonable amount of support and guidance.

6. An ecosystem of positive feedback:

Good bosses know that positive feedback is one of the key drivers of a top-performing team, and go out of their way to make sure they're giving it out liberally. It's a learning process for an employee, yielding their creative best.

7. Captain of the ship:

Captain of the ship is often a risk-taker, a good boss set their employees to soar high, taking responsibility for jumping in the deep and helping when obstacles need to be removed out of the way. They know greatness earned by an employee is a feather on their cap. Great bosses also know that the out of the box creative approach invokes professional fear: the possibility of failure in the employees, hence they create an atmosphere of great learning in which their team members feel psychologically safe enough to take risks and make tweaks to the strategy for next time. Workspace breeding in such an environment makes the employees fearless and motivated.


A workspace is not often touched by the fortune of a good boss. There are talented individuals positioned as the leader but, have both behavioral and work ethic issues, which shapes them into a horrible boss. They fail to understand that the employees under them are not to be treated as a subject of tyranny but to be led for a greater cause. They often put themselves first and are highly insecure about their position. Such a working environment stirs up negativities, like stress and fear, which leaves no room for creative insights. Bad bosses hamper the growth of employees both on a personal and professional front. Some of the innate traits of a bad boss are:

1.Untamed inner child:

Good bosses are aware of the ups and downs of their childhood, have worked or are working to heal their inner child and are aware of their triggers. Good managers use this awareness to manage themselves, and their interactions with others. Bad bosses are oblivious to how their inner child impacts not only their lives but the lives of others.

2. A big no to feed backs:

There's no room for improvement and encouragement for a bad boss. Giving feedback to the employees is considered a waste in space by a bad boss. They'd rather choose to hurl and insult their team members publicly and mock their shortcomings.

3. A delusional perfectionist:

A bad boss is often running a mad race of achieving perfection at any cost. He would never care about the obstacle that his team members are facing and only cares about the work being done. There are no creative inputs contributed from his end and never accepts his shortcomings.

5. Unempathetic:

When bad bosses are unable or unwilling to take the time to inspire others, they lead through fear or command. Neither is helpful. A culture dominated by fear will stifle creativity and risk-taking that can lead to innovation. An autocratic management style will have a similar effect in that team, members will not feel they have the space to step outside of the box they have been placed in.  A terrible boss is narcissistic and focused on self-preservation.

5. I, me and mine:

Terrible bosses are endlessly self-centered. Everything is about them and not the people they manage or what is going on in their employees' personal lives. It is never about the team, but rather all about how good they look. Conversely, great bosses lead with integrity, honesty, care, and authenticity. Rather than seeing their team's talents and seeing people's full humanity, bad bosses believe their team exists to serve them. Families, personal life and priorities be damned. Bad bosses believe that their comfort should be prioritized over their team's needs and desires.

6. Disingenuous:

A bad boss may praise you, but he doesn't mean it. His body language betrays his real emotion. He is a bully and would steal credits. A bona fide bad boss is a poor communicator and is unable to yield the best of both himself and his team members. They believe in micromanaging, hence leaving no room for creativity or deviation from the plan, employers are to execute orders and report back. A bad boss creates a culture of distrust and lacks personal accountability.

7. Unrealistic:

A bad boss lives in a bubble of unrealistic goals and has an unruly attitude of knowing it all because of which they fail to make decisions.