A few years ago, I wrote a post entitled, “At Least 20 Things to Stop Doing as a Leader” Reader comments quickly quadrupled that number. It seems there’s no shortage of Bad Boss habits.
Here’s a few more “fresh” suggestions provided by clients for publication purposes since I wrote the original post. (Note to readers, this and the predecessor post with comments are ideal for printing and quietly leaving behind on the boss’s chair.)
At Least 10 More Things to Stop Doing if You’re the Boss:
1. Cut what? Don’t expect us to heed your words on austerity/change/doing more with less if you’re not changing and you’re not cutting back. And thanks for telling me all about your new boat two weeks after we took a pay cut. That was special.
2. Accountability is for Everyone. Stop avoiding THE performance problem on the team. We’re watching your own performance on this one, and you’re credibility clock is just about out of time.
3. If I Need a Friend, I’ll Get a Dog. Stop trying to be my friend and focus on being my boss. I need a boss who tells me what I’m doing right and importantly, what I’m doing wrong and holds me accountable to improving on all fronts. I don’t need someone who uses a faux friendship to avoid helping me grow.
4. Fewer Clown Rodeos, Please. Quit descending upon our facility like a conquering general expecting a parade. If you have to show up, why not show up unannounced and see what happens on a day when we’re all focused on working instead of worrying about entertaining the clown from corporate.
5. They Can’t All Be Strategic! Stop saying “yes” to every project that comes along. You’ve more than succeeded at ensuring that we have too few resources chasing too many projects. It’s time to learn that powerful word, “No.”
6. How Old Are You? Quit yelling at us in public. Come to think of it, quit yelling at us. Grow up.
7. Everyone on the Planet Except You Knows This! Stop shooting down our ideas in brainstorming meetings. You must have missed the day in life when they taught ALL OF US the rules of effective brainstorming.
8. Quit Hiding Under Your Desk. Stop dodging the angry customer calls and dumping them back on us. You might learn something.
9. Everyone on the Planet Except You Knows This, part 2. Quit trying to pass off your growth targets as strategies. Growth is an outcome, not a strategy!
10. Stop. Reverse That. Quit taking credit for everything that goes right and passing off blame for everything that goes wrong. You’ve got that backwards.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
If you’re the boss and you’re doing any of the above, cut it out. Seriously.
If you’ve got some more polite or not so polite suggestions for the boss, feel free to pass them along.
Don’t miss the next Leadership Caffeine-Newsletter! Register here.
Art Petty is a Chicago-based management consultant focusing on strategy and leadership development. Art regularly speaks on innovation in management and leadership, and his work is reflected in two books, including the recent, Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development. Art publishes regularly at The Management Excellence blog at https://artpetty.com
Prior to his solo career, Art spent 20+ years leading marketing sales and business units in systems and software organizations around the globe. You can follow Art on twitter: @artpetty and he can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]