Not much has changed, as study upon study keeps confirming what we've known for the better part of three decades: People leave managers, not jobs.
One of the most important decisions senior leaders will ever make is deciding whom to place in management roles. When you name the wrong person manager, over time nothing fixes that bad decision. Not pay, not benefits or perks.
To get to the bottom of this leadership crisis (because, after all, we're really talking about leadership, and not management), we have to stop rewarding and putting up with the toxic behaviors that stand out. Here are six I have witnessed repeatedly.
1. They only think about themselves.
It's about their individual performance and getting that annual bonus. Managers with this attitude are playing for the name on the back of the jersey, and are only concerned about their accomplishments and how they look to their superiors.
2. They're rarely wrong.
Ever work with a manager who's always right and you're always wrong? This boss has a hard time taking blame or ownership for things and will never admit to having made a mistake. Managers like this are more concerned with preserving their reputation and saving face.
3. They don't know where they're headed.
Such a manager will say one thing on Monday and change direction by Wednesday, often without telling the team. Team members don't know where they stand, as communication is often cryptic.
4. They love control.
This person micromanages to the last detail. The work environment is overbearing and stifling because he or she wants control over every decision and won't delegate. In such an autocratic environment, there's hardly room for group discussion or input. Loyal workers trying to find meaning in their jobs are left with nothing but taking their marching orders.
5. They are often missing in action.
You'll note they are conveniently "busy" at crucial times when their input or direction is needed, and often take shelter in incessant meetings that are really façades to mask their insecurity or fear of facing conflict. They're only interested in good news, because they're not able to handle anything more. Got a problem? Talk to someone else.
6. They're narcissists.
In a recent episode of the Love in Action podcast, I asked Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, chief talent scientist at ManpowerGroup and author of Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It), to explain how anyone can recognize when he or she is working for a boss with narcissistic tendencies. In differing degrees, he told me, narcissists lack empathy, have a strong desire to break rules and defy the status quo, are likely to engage in manipulation to advance themselves at the cost of others, and are socially skillful with aggressive underpinning motives. Does this sound like your boss?