Posted in Career Management

“People leave managers not companies” – Dave Wheeler

bad-bossPeople leave companies and roles; roles that they outgrow or roles they no longer feel passionate about, along with companies who may no longer align with an individual’s values. However, often, people leave managers.

In an economic recession, bad managers are an epidemic.

There are multiple reasons for this, in addition to the obvious “hire or assign the less costly and less qualified employee” during a recession, generally speaking, job availability goes down and hence, job changes decrease. As this happens, there is usually one common way out of a company, and that is being let go. Worried and stressed, underlying factors (insecurity, lack of support, passiveness, competition, dishonesty, disrespect – Huffington Post, Oct 21st 2016) that drive “bad managers” increase and hence, more and more bad bosses.

Having said that, and while bad bosses are accountable for such actions, I tend to hold companies even more responsible. The truth is, good organizations know what is going on within. They have effective HR functions, effective HR policies, and have leaders who can tell when employees are busy protecting their turf versus doing their best for the benefit of the organisation. More importantly, when employees speak up, companies must listen.

I am not advocating that bosses are let go, although in some cases that is a definite, but organizations must admit and recognize a bad boss. They must provide coaching and in some cases, a role change. Bad bosses are often the result of a poor hiring decision, unjustified or mistaken promotion.

For organizations, this is important for their long term survival, reputation and overall impact.

Since this blog is for you, all I can say is, if you find yourself in such a situation, understand that an insecure boss will always be insecure and nothing you do or say can change that. While there are options to deal with such cases when the HR function within your company is influential, unfortunately that is rare these days, and you usually have two choices …

weather the storm until your role or reporting line changes or seek another opportunity.

Yes, new jobs are less to come by in a recession, but they do exist. Fighting the storm is a waste of time and effort*.

While weathering the storm, assess your career direction, seek knowledge and become an expert in your field just by spending one hour a day after or, preferably before, work in the morning. That will help reduce your level of stress and when an opportunity comes, you will be more than ready.

*This does not mean that you are not assertive. Treat a bad boss the same way you would treat a bully. Tell them how it is, with respect. Never, ever aim to hurt that person. When asked by others, be honest.


Image courtesy of Idea go at


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