b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: When You Don't Like the Boss



When You Don't Like the Boss

I came across this blog post and had to mention it. It's about what it means when you don’t like the boss.

So what does it mean? Here's the gist of it:

Bosses are there to guide and support their staff. They’re also there to “maintain work harmony between team members.”

The article goes on to say that conflicts with the boss are either personal or professional. I agree with what the author writes – I do. HOWEVER… there's a lot left out. The article suggests that it’s because there is a problem with the employee that the employee has the problem with the boss and ends up leaving. Considering all the evidence and studies so recently done on this topic, I’d say that perhaps he needs to rethink that.

I mean, what happens when the boss fails at being a good manager?

Are there bad employees out there? Of course there are. However, evidence points to the fact that it is because of bad bosses that people leave their jobs.

Another thing to consider is the “set up to fail” syndrome”: it sometimes happens that bosses (both good AND bad) inadvertently set their employees up to fail [in a nutshell: an otherwise good employee fails on a project or idea and the boss comes down on them to “fix” the problem but ends up interfering too much which diminishes morale and then the employee and manager slip into a vicious cycle. [Of course I’m massively paraphrasing here.]

Perhaps there are great bosses out there… there are certainly great leaders. But, let’s be real about boss/employee relations. It’s a 2-way street. If things are as this article suggests with the employee to blame for THIS much trouble (the article cites lack of skills or ability, ethical issues, theft, absenteeism, addictions, failure to do quality work, failure to do the work on time as issues from where professional conflicts are rooted), then the employee probably deserves to be disciplined and/or fired.


I wrote the piece focusing on the employee who is making the decision to leave a company in order to become an entrepreneur and open their own business.

"If your reasons for leaving the corporate world are heavily weighted toward a history of personal conflicts with the boss, what does that mean? Are you a problem? Is your personality one that provokes or seeks conflicts? If there is a pattern here? Some strong introspection is required before you break out and open your own business."

Your observations about poor managers are right on target, and have a tremendous effect upon employees and team members.

am no Deming or Drucker. I have no Phd, have conducted no scholary research or gathered statistics. My opinions are drawn from over thirty years in middle management. I am neither executive, consultant, nor belong to any elite institutions. I am, however, passionate about these views: Employees come to work with an implicit trust that their managers are always working for the best interest of the company and its employees. That trust should not and cannot ever be taken for granted. Look what is happening today. It is no longer "What's good for the company is good for the manager." It has become "What's good for the manager is good for the company." Top executives have totally lost sight of this phenomenon and are allowing managers to run amok for their own personal agendas.
Several years ago I wrote a book on the subject of bad bosses, workplace culture and employee morale. It is as relevant today as it was then. Employee morale is directly linked to the interaction of employees with line managers who are charged with executing the policies and strategies of companies. Unfortunately, many of these managers subvert the good intentions of the organization to meet their own personal goals and agendas at the expense of their peers and subordinates. This management subculture is the result of a corporate culture of ignorance, indifference and excuse. Better corporate level leadership is the key. Read more in "160 Degrees of Deviation: The Case for the Corporate Cynic."
Many management consultants and the like seem to share a common disdain for these views as well as my retelling of personal experiences and observations in the book. You would not believe the negative reviews and comments. It is as if I were the problem! Well so be it! I will continue to be a voice in the wilderness. Perhaps that voice is beginning to gain some strength.

Jerome Alexander
Lee, thanks for your comment! I realize what you were getting at in your article, but I still carry the same perspective. There is a BIG difference between a *perceived* lack of ability (as told to an employee by the boss) and there being one IN REALITY. I could go on. I am a fan of your blog though : )

Jerome, you and I share the same sentiments. Incidentally, the reactions and feedback from my book have been quite opposite of what you're receiving. People seem to be very open to my views and are enjoying the book because everyone can relate! However, while my promotion points out the bad things bosees do, my speaking platform is one of instruction, motivation and guidance on how both bosses and employees can work better together.

Best of luck to you!
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