Study upon study over the course of several decades keep telling us the same story: People leave managers, not jobs.
1. They're unable to accept responsibility.
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.
2. They are narcissists.
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?
3. They treat people like objects.
People are seen as worker bees serving the wishes of a top-down hierarchy in order to drive the bottom line and make shareholders happy. There is typically little regard for employees' happiness or well-being. Consequently, people's personal or family lives are sacrificed for the job because overwork is common. As a result, you'll encounter high levels of stress, turnover, absenteeism, and burnout.
4. They only look after themselves.
Their only concern is 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 focused on their accomplishments and how they look to their superiors.
5. They lack a moral code.
These are sneaky and cunning individuals with their hearts rooted in domination and the attainment of power. They hoard valuable information, pit different teams against each other, and are quite cliquish--forming an "in-group" of friends while excluding others.
6. They hurt you with their words.
"You are wrong." No person ever wants to hear those three words. When toxic bosses speak this out often, it causes dissension; employees who feel targeted may act out in anger and things can quickly escalate to arguments and further conflict. As these three toxic words pierce the atmosphere, you can feel the mood in conversations drastically change and dark clouds begin to form. Walk away from "you are wrong" because the forecast always calls for rain.