Evil Boss or Good Boss?
Nobody wants to work for an evil boss and everyone wants to work for a good one. Here's a quick set of comparisons to assess whether you (or your own boss) are basically evil or basically good.
Evil bosses are charming. They'll flatter people their faces but as soon those people out of sight, it's as if they never existed.
Good bosses are personable. They give praise without being smarmy and criticism without being mean. They coach people rather than inflate egos.
2. Personal history
Evil bosses bloat their accomplishments. They tell long-winded stories about winning single-handedly against huge odds.
Good bosses downplay their past. They'll share their experiences but only to illustrate a point that helps the team move forward.
Evil bosses demand respect. Woe be to the employee who refuses to kowtow or who dares suggest that the boss isn't perfect.
Good bosses earn respect. They realize that they can't possibly be leaders if nobody follows them willingly.
Evil bosses assign blame. If things go wrong, it's due to the stupidity of others. If things go right, it's because the boss is so smart.
Good bosses share credit. If things go wrong, it's because the boss made a mistake. If things go right, it's a victory for the team.
Evil bosses lack empathy. For instance, they'll deeply resent an employee who takes time off to attend a funeral.
Good bosses feel sympathy. They realize that employees have real lives that sometimes include stress and sadness.
Evil bosses know it all. No matter where they are, they consider themselves the smartest person in the room.
Good bosses recruit experts. They know they'll be more successful if they surround themselves with brilliance.
7. Management style
Evil bosses manipulate people. Their employees are only pawns in the larger game that the boss is playing.
Good bosses inspire people. They get everyone playing on the same team and in the same game, to achieve the same goals.
Evil bosses enjoy belittling people. At every meeting, they'll pick an employee to publicly rake over the coals.
Good bosses enjoy developing people. At every meeting, they find a way to help the team become more than the sum of its parts.
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Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.