The good, the bad and the ugly . . . . . . . . Manager

The good, the bad and the ugly . . . . . . . .  Manager

Let’s be honest we have probably had or will have good, bad and just downright ugly managers in our career lifetime! Is it politically correct to say that? Mmmmm, probably not but at least its being truthful.

When I look back at some of the managers I have had over the many many years – its amazing just how many horrible bosses there are out there, its no coincidence that Hollywood made two blockbuster movies out of it – they truly do exist. But how do they survive, how do they manage to scale up the ladder and remain in power for so long, where are the good ones hiding?

“Its no coincidence that Hollywood made 2 blockbuster movies from horrible bosses”

I once had a manager that would go out for lunch pretty much every day, whatever he couldn’t get into his mouth he slopped down the front of his tie and 9 times out of 10 would opt for the pickled egg option and a pint which he would then proceed to belch up throughout the afternoon meetings!! His self awareness you could argue was non-existent.

Then there was the manager that was the ‘I will take the credit for everything you do’ type. You know the one that steals your idea and claims it as their own, or uses your report and changes the name to theirs as the author. I remember as I was starting out in my career, I thought this shocking behaviour should be stopped so I adopted school yard antics and would only produce documents in PDF format which my manager had no idea how to alter or put them name into the author footer pretty low but great for the self esteem.

Then there is the ‘political animal’ boss – everyone below them know they are toxic yet everyone above them think they are brilliant. The political animal thrives in the corporate zoo and scales the ladder with ease, they are smooth and charming to all around them, however they whisper and plot behind your back, having meetings after the main meeting to really get their point across, where there are no minutes no record of their viewpoint of which can come back to bite them if its wrong. Never too quick to say either way which route to take waiting patiently to back the right horse. I am a firm believer that we should out these ugly bosses, there should be a whistleblowing hot line for such cases.


But, then I have had my fair share of the good ones, the bosses that are truly leaders of today and tomorrow. They don’t brag, they don’t strut like peacocks and they don’t really know how good they actually are. These are the few people that make people want to join them. They give you the air to breadth, let you voice your opinions, concerns, ideas, true listeners – they are genuine – and you can’t fake authenticity. You feel that you are in it all together ‘rowing in the same direction’ they totally have your back, standing shoulder to shoulder, fighting another day to produce the best work you possibly can produce – and you wake up in the morning and think, “great its going to be a long day today but i’m excited about getting started”. We all know that people leave people in company’s – no one leaves a company because the people or their boss is great.

Firms need to look to their talent management programmes to incorporate the boss who everyone wants to work with, the leader who has the best retention, the boss who has nurtured and developed talent from all corners of the firm. They need to be honest with themselves about how they select and promote successors, do they know that this leader is successful because everyone around them is successful or is it because they are well connected, been in the company a long time and know how to play the corporate game?