Career Know-How


Find Jobs, Post Resumes

Ask Sue 

Choosing Careers 

Job Search Strategies

Interview Tips 

Resume Tool Kit 

Cover Letters 

Sample Resumes 


Home Business  

Human Resources & Management  




Bosses We Love to Hate

by Raymond Yeh, PhD and Stephanie Yeh

Boss' Day is coming up October 16. Do you love or hate your boss? Almost all of us have worked for bosses that we absolutely hate. Here are 7 of the worst kinds of bosses, along with 5 action steps you can take to get around them.

The Egomaniac: No matter who does the work, this boss takes all the credit! He doesn't support, coach, nurture or grow his employees. It's all about him, and your career path is terminal if you work for him. True leaders know that they need other people to help manifest their dreams-and they acknowledge other people's efforts freely.

The Liar, Cheat, or Thief: This boss just wants to get whatever he can out of the company while offering as little as possible. He milks the company dry if he can (think Enron and Worldcom). One client's boss (a manager at a major retailer) even taught all of his employees to get as much as they could out of "they system" by damaging goods so they couldn't be sold, and taking the goods home. A leader without values is no leader at all. With the advent of financial disasters such as Enron and Worldcom, values have become more important than ever.

The Terminal Lifer: Going to work can be hard enough without having to work for a terminal lifer, a boss who just wants to make it to retirement (or to the end of the day!). These types of bosses have no vision and don't inspire any of their employees. A leader's job is to inspire his people with a dream that makes a real difference in the world.

The Flake: This boss has so many other things going that he can't focus on the business at hand. Whether its romance, other business deals, or personal issues, this boss is so low in the commitment department that he drives employee turnover sky high! One client's boss was so engrossed in the dating scene that she took all the revenue out of the business to go gambling in Las Vegas with her new boyfriend. The result? She bounced everyone's paychecks! Leaders need to be more committed to the organization's vision than anyone else. They need to become a shining example of the sort of commitment they expect from their people.

The Fearful Boss: This boss is so afraid of making mistakes that he's afraid of anything but the status quo-and "change" is a bad word. He might listen to your ideas, but if they're too radical, he'll be sure to squash them so he doesn't make a mistake. One of the most important things a leader does is remove the stigma of mistakes. He knows that bold action sometimes leads to mistakes, and is willing to take calculated risks.

The Fire Fighter: This boss runs around the office putting out fires but never gets anything done. The list of hot new ideas you put on his desk a month ago is buried under paperwork from all the latest crises. This boss thrives on action and excitement, but doesn't make much actual headway toward any goals. One of the most important roles in leadership is that of the visionary. The leader has to be able to see goals that are far into the future, and lead their people to those goals.

The Angry or Moody Boss: This boss stomps around in a fit of rage or slumped in deep moodiness all the time. You can't tell whether he's mad at you, or just hung up on some personal issue. Anything can set him off, so you're afraid to approach him with any news-good or bad. The greatest leaders in the world have peace of mind because they are satisfied with the contribution they are making to their company, the world, and their own lives.

5 Action Steps to Get Around Your Boss

Get another boss either by transferring within your own company or finding a different job altogether.

Cultivate a relationship with your boss' boss. This gives you an extra channel for any new, innovative ideas you might have. Be subtle, though, since this can be a tricky process.

Sign up for extra-curricular tasks within the company that will put you in contact with bosses from other departments.

If you've got innovative ideas that your boss won't listen to, look for some other channel, perhaps outside your department, where you can implement your ideas. Or, suggest a partnership with another department.

Learn what you can where you are. If you can learn something about leadership and management (even if it's what not to do) where you are now, get all the experience you can while cultivating a new position for yourself elsewhere. Sometimes this kind of on-the-job training can give you the experience you need to move up in your career.

Raymond Yeh, PhD, is a senior research fellow at IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been a management consultant to many nations and works with executives of global companies such as IBM, GTE, AT&T, Siemens, and NEC, as well as with founders of many start-up companies. Dr. Yeh has published ten technical books and the highly acclaimed business book titled, "Zero Time: Providing Instant Customer Value-Every Time, All the Time!" Contact him at and access his work at

Stephanie Yeh has spent many years in the business world consulting with major corporations around the world, including Fannie Mae, Acer, Tatung, Children's Hospital of Dallas, and Intergraph on human resource management, process reengineering, and technology assessment. She has also coached numerous corporate executives and small business owners on business strategy and management. Contact her at access her work at

Share This Page




Source of images:

Privacy Statement

The information compiled on this site is Copyright 1999-2016 by Attard Communications, Inc. and by the individual authors.
Career Know-How is a service mark of Attard Communications, Inc.