Bad Manager Behavior

What constitutes bad manager behavior? It looks like over the past 5 years, there has been somewhat consistent interest in this topic (see graph below)!

“People quit their managers, not their companies.”

That quote rings true to many, and as Jack Altman of Lattice notes:

the manager relationship is highly correlated with employee engagement. A good proxy for the strength of the relationship is how comfortable an employee is approaching their manager with any type of question.

Jack Altman, Don’t Be Surprised When Your Employees Quit.

What does bad manager behavior look like?

Poor management can seem like it plagues startups in particular. What does it look like?

Oh, where to start: gender discrimination, sexual harassment, micromanagement, lack of communication, lack of any kind of management, temper tantrums, preferential treatment, expecting you to have no personal life, overpromising to stakeholders, zero empathy, and on and on and on.

Not all poor managers are jerks. Some are insecure, some are just in over their heads. Many want to be better.

Are you guilty of being a bad manager, or convinced your boss hinders rather than helps? Look at this checklist to confirm.

How does a bad manager end up getting promoted?

Besides the obvious reasons, where they’re chummy with the CEO/Owner or there doesn’t seem to be anyone else available to be promoted in-house, there is another less obvious cause: no clear company vision.

When a company has no clear vision, it is fueled by chaos. Without a strategy to follow, managers make decisions based on their own pride and greed. There are no collective goals, so pleasing upper management becomes the focus.

Brian de Haaff, Why Your Toxic Boss Keeps Getting Promoted

How to move on from bad management without having the entire team quit? The Lighthouse blog has an excellent guide.

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