Home > Business, Career, Leadership > The worst boss in the world

The worst boss in the world

Either you’ve heard of this person or you’ve met them and fear them.  The Bad Boss.  This person is someone we hope we never run into.  They are the direct supervisor that doesn’t like people or doesn’t know their job or both.  They are always miserable and have never tried to motivate the team through inspiration and think they are better than everyone just by the virtue of their current position.

"Sure Boss, I'll get right on that."

I feel sorry for the Bad Boss.  I really do.  They probably have some deep seeded inferiority complex that needs to be addressed by a professional.  Unfortunately, they’re still your boss.  You don’t have to like them but you do have to work with them.

  1. Keep the dialogue open with the Bad Boss.  Talk to them in person rather than email if possible.  (but save the emails)
  2. Clarify their expectations.  When you get instructions or directions, write them down and restate them.   Make it clear to them that they were understood.  Your margin for error is even less with the Bad Boss.
  3. Don’t talk bad about them to your coworkers or subordinates.  Resist the urge.
  4. Don’t let the project or mission fail because of Bad Boss.  If you pick up the slack or make a correction along the way do it for the good of the project.  Letting everyone fail when failure could be avoided doesn’t help anyone.
  5. If things really get bad and you have to answer questions from upper management about the Bad Boss be open and honest.  Answer direct questions with direct answers.  If it gets to this point upper management already knows they have a problem.  What they don’t need is to hear gossip and conjecture.

After reading the first couple points you might be thinking “I don’t have to take that!”  Some people might not be in a position to quit.  If you are thinking about quitting read my post How to be a quitter in 4 easy steps first.  After all, no one wants to work for the Bad Boss.

Good luck with your Bad Boss.  And for those of you who have never had to be deposed because of the Bad Boss, consider yourself lucky.  Maybe the person in the office down your hall isn’t as bad as you might have thought all along.  Depositions are not fun.

  1. January 27, 2011 at 7:33 am

    I’ve been lucky, never had a bad boss and never BEEN a boss, but if I was I’d treat people they way I want to be treated 🙂

  2. January 27, 2011 at 8:38 am


    Then consider yourself lucky!

    The majority of people I’ve worked for have been fantastic but a couple have been horrible. Just wondering if others have had similar experiences. Just thought I’d share. Thanks for stopping by.


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