Bad Bosses in BusinessWeek

2009 April 9
by Kate O'Neill

Not that we at Corporate Idealist are big on passing blame — we like to stay more positive — but we’ve all been through situations where your manager really is incompetent, bitter, self-centered, or just plain bad.

BusinessWeek talks about how to handle those cases. True to our philosophy of being the change you wish to see, here’s what stood out to us:

Your boss will betray your trust, then tell you to stay positive. Your boss will chastise you for your behavior, then act the same way. Sure, you can quit, but have you gained anything besides an ulcer? Instead, make the most of your time. Focus on gaining the right experience, building your interpersonal skills, and policing your attitude. They are your ticket out. Absorb those daily humiliations, so you never become like your boss. Most important, don’t write off the message because of the messenger. Your boss didn’t reach this level by accident. Be open to criticisms and suggestions. You’ll likely miss some valuable nuggets if you completely tune out your boss.

Personally, I would have to agree. I’ve had a series of bad bosses, and have learned something from all of them. If nothing else, as the excerpt above suggests, I learned how to be a better boss myself by not doing what these people did.

What have you learned from bad boss experiences? Tell us in the comments.

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