9 Bad Boss Types

I was reflecting recently on bad bosses I have either had personally or that were in an organization in which I worked. Sadly in years past I may have played some of these roles as a boss.

Do you identify with any of these bad boss types:

The Bully Boss: This boss beats production out of employees.  Employees feel intimidated, which causes them to perform at less than capable performance levels.

The Passive Boss: This boss refuses to lead employees, will not confront problems, and allows dissension among employees. Employees run the show and politics destroys progress.

The Fence Leaner Boss: This boss always sees the grass as greener in another position in the organization or in another organization.  Employees feel abandoned without a voice in the organization and begin to look for their own greener grass.

The My Life Is A Mess Boss: This boss has a messed-up personal life and brings it into the office.  Employees are caught in a sea of drama, which keeps the organization in turmoil.

The Too Good For You Boss. This boss is unapproachable and never invests in employees who therefore feel unappreciated.

The Scared of Competition Boss. This boss is afraid employees will outperform him or her and so employees are given few responsibilities and the boss micro-manages all work.  The best employees feel underutilized and eventually leave the organization in search of more opportunities.

The Never Satisfied Boss: This boss is overly critical and hard to please. Employees wear out trying to make the boss happy and never feel a sense of accomplishment.

The Incompetent Boss: This boss hides behind his or her lack of qualification.  Employees suffer personally from a boss who cannot lead them.

The Aimless Boss: This boss has no expectations for the organization.  Goals and objectives are never obtained and employees are left without direction.

What’s crazy is that I learned valuable leadership principles from each of these bad bosses, if nothing more than what not to do as a boss.

Feel free to add number 10.

Have you ever had a bad boss?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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25 thoughts on “9 Bad Boss Types

  1. The psycho boss – this boss is your best friend before lunch, but then for unknown reasons hates your guts. Or vice versa. They expect you to come to work whether you have a suitable babysitter or not. After all, a drug house is still suitable, right? Or a brothel… There are always options. The work just needs to get done!!

  2. The only boss I had (and still have) is one of those most people hear at university lectures after the words "In ideal world…." :) He has his moments when I can get upset because of his never-sleeping creativity or something, but after I cool off, I understand his reasons :)

    Guess I am just a one lucky gal :D (well, those who work with me are lucky too since we have the same boss))))

  3. Micro-Manager Boss: tho it's in the "scared of competition" I might make it it's own. I had a boss who wasn't scared of competition but did micro-manage everything – this is a very easy (& very common) trap to fall into. Also, it's very frustrating to a team & inefficient. So I think it's important enough to warrant it's own category.

  4. The Profitable Boss: This boss always think everything from financial side of view and try to find a way to benefit him/her. Employees are not feeling comfortable to pay the boss expenses cause he/she never pays.

  5. The I Am Perfect A Boss: This boss is very optimist that he/she is perfect and none can criticize him/her even his/her boss. Employees are not allowed to make mistakes and if do so, he/she will be dismissed.

  6. The Moody Boss. (this doesnt mean he graduated from Moody Bible Institiute, threw that in for Nate) I worked for a guy one time you never knew what kind of mood he was going to be in, this produced an atmosphere of instability. You could be having fun with him one moment and be scolded for having fun the next. Moody bosses are confusing.

    Mac Lake’s last blog post..Building What God Doesn’t Want to Build

  7. #12 – The Constant Critic Boss: While coldly competent, this boss is too insecure to have a healthy relationship with employees and communicates his expectations by criticizing those inside and outside of the organization. This causes the team to dissolve into a competitive back biting group of people who alternate gossip with one up man ship, while trying to curry his favor. This is a #7, super-sized.

    mindi’s last blog post..Finals

    • I would love to have him as my boss. At least he is fun. My boss is mean and you can never please him. He has said "If you don't hear from me then things are going good". So no compliments or pats on the back either.