I work in a school with the most horrendous administration right now. I read so much on here about bad bosses. What is it when a majority of people become leaders, they turn into assholes?
Different priorities because they have a differnt expectation placed upon them. You sound like a very bitter employee with very old school ideas of workers vs mangement.
Most corporations insist that bosses make all employees feel miserable. If a boss notices that an employee actually enjoys their job, THEY HAVE TO CHANGE THE JOB. It's a rule.
And become dismissive...
But are they kiss asses to get to the top? And then become assholes?
and here i thought its in the job specs
Is it a necessity that all employees be lazy, lying sacks of shit?
Part of it, too, is that people hate bosses.
I had a colleague today come to me in tears because she just got promoted to manager above some of her peers and she is miserable with the attitude and push back they give her.
Plus, bosses do shady things (I've seen it) just because they can (i.e., deny a part timer a .25 cent an hour raise, while giving themselves 3-5% raises).
Psychopaths will always rise to the top unless they snap first. They're master manipulators - use you as longer as you can help them, then shit on you once they're in a higher position.
The gap in wages must make them feel a weird sense of entitlement, too.
I was in a meeting about the low salaries at my non-profit. We had a VP come in and start babbling about how studies have shown that people don't love their jobs because of the money they make.
Mind you, that came from a man earning north of 150K a year in a discussion about freelancers and people making about 50k a year.
I wanted to say, "Cool then. Let's cut your salary by 2/3rds and see how much you 'love' it."
Insecure, fucked-up, small-minded people can't handle power. They are put in managerial positions because they are two-faced ass-kissers and have been there forever. It's a big thrill for them to pick on people that have, in their eyes, less power.
So many bitter cube fags in this thread.
You humiliate your underlings and pee on them in order to establish your dominance. Good Leadership Skills 101.
I'm a boss and probably won't be for long. I go to bat for my co-workers. I cut them every break I can. Our department is the most productive although we work the fewest hours. But I feel the higher ups gunning for me because they are so loathed. They'll find some reason to fire me.
I'm a manager and I don't feel compelled to be a prick. I get good reviews from the people above and below me and my team has a reputation as a team that will deliver.
Bosses do need to show authority and are not going to be your best friend. They require to get a job done by relying on others however to belittle and humiliate are not going to get a good result and in the long run I have found that they destroy themselves by treating their staff badly. Not all bosses are assholes, op. Usually with no leadership leads to chaos and disorganisation which is not uncommon in school administrations.
It's bad management, but sadly widespread (as this thread proves).
I am one of the lucky few who actually really enjoys working with their boss. He's super nice, calm, incredibly easy to get along with and gives back to his employees.
OP, I also work in a school. I'm an elementary teacher. My principal does not support my fellow teachers. Things are so bad right now I'm ready to quit. I'm under immense stress because she is cowing to the parents who are bullying the staff.
R9, I heard one of the executives at my company say something when he was speaking to another department. People may not love their jobs because of how much money they make, but a nice salary certainly makes people feel better about going into work.
Not all bosses are bad. For the most part I've hard great bosses. However right now I have the worst boss I've ever had. If you agree with him everything's fine. Once you have your own ideas and opinions he gets irritated and will badmouth you behind your back.
I've pointed out things our department should be doing differently only to be ignored. It's never failed that the head of another department would point these same things to him months later. Now I stay quiet as does everyone else in my department. He'll be the one in trouble for his training not us.
It is an unfortunate cycle that repeats itself -- wrong people in the wrong positions appointing more wrong people to the wrong positions. I recently had and supervisor who often came to work smelling like a combination of soured clothes and dirty ass sweat. The rest of us figured her problems are that she is so overweight (320 pounds and no I'm not joking) that she can not properly wipe her ass, and she more than likely doesn't bathe regularly. I could never respect someone who regularly showed up to work with dirt packed underneath her fingernails and clothes so tight that she could barely even move in them. Her lack of interpersonal skills has put her at odds with most people in/outside of the organization. Ah well, not my problem anymore....but no it's not necessary for bosses to be pricks but the unfortunate thing is a lot of them are.
Philosophy of management:
- Hire good people.
- Get them the tools and the information they need, then you get the hell out of their way and let them do the job you're paying them to do.
- Trust your people until they give you reason not to (but verify, of course).
- Communicate, communicate, communicate.
- It's much more expensive to continually be hiring and training new people than it is to treat the ones you have right and hang onto them.
- Treat them with respect.
- Fight for them.
- As much as is reasonable, shield them from the inevitable bullshit.
- Encourage them to have a life. A tired, burned-out employee doesn't do either of you any good. They make mistakes and eventually they're going to leave.
- Encourage them to grow. If you're not grooming your replacement, how are you going to move into the next step on your own career?
- Be human but remember you are their manager. You don't have to be super-good-friends with them.
These are just a few that come to mind. Any others you can think of?
Those are great, R21.
Actually I haven't hated all my bosses, even if they have all been assholes. I do hate that bosses usually are forced by higheer ups, to insist that their workers do really, really stupid things, things that waste time (busy work),when you are simply trying to get something accomplished.
I think it's true as one said in this thread, that psychopaths always rise to the top, they accumulate there. It's just logical, if you are very self centered and have little or no empathy. Think of how far you can go, and how little you have to concern yourself with bad conscience if you have a complete lack of empathy. However, a psychopath will typically be very good at pretending not being a psychopath. Of course, if it shows that you are a bad person, people will start to notice and you will become unpopular, which is bad for their career, so they are experts on covering up and talking lies, but not complete lies, but lies that are not enough to make them get caught, but still enough to to the job and of course manipulating people. Just because a person is polite and appears to be nice, doesn't mean he/she is a good person.
I don't think all bosses are bad, and some times they are not bad people, but simply don't have the skills/training of being a boss. And many bosses are good as well.
But a friend told me that statistics show that 13% (if i remember correctly) of US bosses are psychopaths to some extend. I work in Scandinavia but i guess the human mind works pretty much the same in any country. Also, remember that there are many degrees of psychopaths, and i guess many are on the border, so it's not all that black and white, thus difficult to spot and deal with it. Personally, i no longer automatically trust people as easily as when i started working after my graduation. And for the future, i will be very choosy about which boss i will work for and which coworkers i will engage cooperation with.
Of course, you can not always choose, but if you end up working under or with a bad person (a perosn who treats you recklessly or takes advantage of you) you might talk to your boss or bosses boss so you dont have to work with this person again. I have not really tried that, so i dont know how it would work out. I think spending time with bad people is one of the worst things you can do to yourself.
Of course, another issue is that in many cases the boss is not your friend, as another answer pointed out, in many cases you simply have a professional relation. But from not being your best friend to have no empathy whatsoever and taking advantage of others, is a long way.
If something happens to you more than once or twice, it's YOU.
If all your bosses are jerks, the real question is what are YOU doing to THEM to make THEM act that way.
The problem lies not in the stars but within yourself.
I personally think the issue is at two folds:
1. most corporations believe if employees get comfortable, they get lazy. So, when introducing certain level of discomfort, the corporation benefits from the productivity. After all, we are all dispensable.
2. most people can't handle power. It is far easier to just issue orders than doing the actual work. Therefore, power makes managers lazy to do actual work and eager to issue orders.
The sad thing is, even though, we live in a democracy, but when it comes each workplace, it is, at best, a benevolent dictatorship.
R1 sounds sociopathic. You've been found out, Kevin.
That is true, that a corporation is not a democracy. I was thinking it could be interested to start a democratic company. I also heard about some computer gaming company or something like that, which is a democracy. I have not read about how it is developing.
Surely there are disadvantages, decision taking in such a company would be slower, thus the company will act slower, but maybe in the long run it would be beneficial. The company would be more transparent and maybe a less amount of psychopaths would be hired.
On the other hand, Italy is kind of democratic, and still, look at the political leaders there through history until now recently.
In a different view, this is just my guesswork, but i assume, sadly, that a corporation will in some cases benefit from hiring a psychopath, since the attributes of a corporation could in a some extend be the same as for the psychopath leader; short term goals, limited empathy, superficial charm. But of course, the psychopath's goal is to benefit him/herself, not the corporation, so the corporation will only benefit from hiring a psychopath if he/she is rewarded in a beneficial way. Anyway, i will assume that the corporations don't understand that the person they hire is a psychopath.
And yes, there might be many reasons why it in some cases doesn't work out smoothly between boss and the rest of the staff. Psychopathic / narcissistic behavior is just worst case scenario, though unfortunately not all that uncommon, and very frustrating. Because in that case you cannot really do much to improve the situation other than with help from others moving that person away or moving yourself, if you want to enjoy work.
In other cases you can probably/maybe do something to improve the situation.
OP, there have been some good comments on this thread. I have observed that managers typically look up, not down. They aren't really that interested in R21's points, i.e. giving employees the tools they need and letting them do their jobs, etc. They just want to please the people above them and if they have to run over or sacrifice a few employees, so be it. And I say this as a professional, who has never lost a job.
R25 sounds like an idiot.
I've been lucky and had some really great bosses going back to my first jobs. At the end of a summer job between college semesters, the boss called me into the office for a farewell meeting. At the end, the boss handed me a check for the next semester's tuition.
[quote]Is it a necessity that all bosses be pricks?
As someone who has served in a leadership position, I can see both sides of the coin. However, even though bosses have a reputation of being pricks, employees ALWAYS think their wants and desire should be foremost in management's mind. It's often frustrating that I'm supposed to be sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of my subordinates, yet they never take the time to consider resource constraints or political sensitivities. Life would be so much easier of bosses and their employees were able to not just focus on what they can get out of each other.
I won't work for pricks, and I tell them so, diplomatically, in interviews. I set the boundary then, and if they don't like it, nobody wastes time, and I move on.
Strangely, it's worked well for me, career-wise.
Bosses should have formalized lateral communication so everybody knows what everybody else is working on. People will complain about the time wasted in getting up to date, but if you don't do it, the jealousies, duplications, and other crap will send the team into a tailspin.
I've had cool bosses before but it seems they're pretty rare... My last boss was not only a dick, he was cheap and his breath smelled like rotting sewage.
I have had some horrible bosses and some great bosses. Coincidentally, the worst-ever bosses I had were school administrators when I was a high school teacher for two years. They constantly belittled me (in front of students), sabotaged my efforts to improve my skills and help my students and one even physically assaulted me, then admin circled the wagons when I complained.
Now I'm working at an insurance broker and my boss -- knock wood -- is the greatest boss I've ever had in my life. He is good natured, considerate, always encouraging me, makes sure I have the tools to do my job as efficiently and productively as possible, and backs me up when other departments push back. It's wonderful.