In a perfect world, merit would completely decide how, and who, climbs the corporate ladder. Every boss would know what they’re doing, and how to get the most out of employees in a practical and likeable way. The sad truth however is that circumstances beyond anyone’s control often position people in management who aren’t well-suited for a leadership role. Most employees are all too familiar with the nightmare of having to work for a bad boss. Going down the list of traits that qualify someone as a bad boss would probably take years, but here are five general flaws that the majority of bad bosses tend to share.

Failure to Inspire

Being a good boss means having the fundamental ability to motivate a team. The role of a boss is supervision. Inherent in that supervision is having the necessary skills to prevent apathy and underperformance among workers. Even the most talented and capable employees need encouragement and guidance that keeps them focused on achieving their shared mission. When a boss constantly demands work from employees without inspiring any kind of passion within them, fatigue and frustration are likely to derail the overall productivity of their team.

Acceptance of Mediocrity

Beyond getting employees to fulfil the basic duties of their respective positions, being a good boss also means facilitating excellence out of people. Bosses exist to set the standards by which professional performance is judged. When bosses set low standards, workers are sure to deliver underwhelming results. On the other hand, when a boss sets high expectations for a team, it challenges people to push the limits of their abilities in order to deliver results that are exceptional. Mediocrity is a stumbling block that impedes the growth and survivability of an organization.

Lack of Clear Vision and Direction

A good boss should be the type of person who can keep their eye on the prize. When bosses set standards of expectation for employees, these standards must be founded on a greater vision of success for their team. Whereas employees are responsible for concentrating on mundane operational routines, leaders should never lose sight of the ultimate vision that guides the very existence of their team. Bosses who work without this sense of vision or direction are bound to burden the people who count on them with aimless and redundant work.

Inability to Cooperate and Be a Team Player

The authority that comes with leadership naturally instills a sense of power in those who wield it. Good bosses know how to stay humble and dignified when exercising power. In contrast, bad bosses easily fall victim to overly inflated egos when power becomes available to them. It takes discernment and strength of character to overcome the sway of a power-trip. Remembering to be a team player helps neutralize this alienation by keeping leaders grounded on how they relate with subordinates.

Failure to Walk the Walk

Integrity means everything to the reputation of a leader. A good boss should be the type of person who says what they mean, and does what they say. People need to be able to trust that a leader will not betray their word, or obligations. The more a boss lets down public trust from employees, and consumers alike, the less entitlement they have to make important decisions on behalf of others. A boss can only be respected when their actions sincerely reflect the principles which their leadership imposes on employees.

Being a good boss boils down to decency. In the face of every difficult decision, if a boss can remember to treat people with fairness, dignity and respect, there’s no justifiable reason why anyone who works for them should harbor resentment. Treating employees fairly creates an atmosphere of loyalty and mutual understanding. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

Author: Daniel Otianga