Avoid Becoming an Asshole Boss


How to Avoid Becoming an Asshole Boss.

5 Things Great Leaders Do That Asshole Bosses Don’t

Have you ever had an asshole boss? You have, right? Bad bosses are too common, literally 80% of people have had a bad boss at one time in their careers. But, you know what?

It’s not their fault.

Nobody starts off their career wanting to be an asshole. We just take what we see around us in sports, politics, movies and our lives, what we learned in childhood and we end up being that way. Many of us weren’t trained effectively to become a leader. In fact, on average people receive leadership training at 42 years old when they actually start supervising people at 30 and 75% of leadership training is ineffective because it doesn’t address the leader’s mindset.  

As a result, people aren’t effective at leading others and the destructive effects of their leadership hurts their employees’ performance, happiness and health (both physical and mental health).

How big is the problem?

  • 65.1% of the workforce experiences destructive leadership. Destructive leadership leads to higher costs, lowered effectiveness, employee turnover, and lower profitability. Toxic leadership increases employee depression by 300%. Employees experiencing toxic leadership are 35% to 55% more likely to be diagnosed with a serious physical disease

How do we avoid becoming an asshole boss?  

Here are 5 things that great leaders do that bad bosses don’t:

  1. Architect their Mindset – Great leaders aren’t victims of their emotions, they architect their mindset to support their goals. Part of the mindset work is understanding our automatic thoughts. Automatic thoughts are emotion-filled thoughts that might pop up in the mind. Identifying these thoughts and whether they support the leader’s goals is a key first step.
  2. Actively Listen to their People – Great leaders never miss a chance to gain valuable insights from their people so they deeply listen. This includes no interruption and acknowledging and validating the other individuals feelings and experiences. As a result, it keeps both listener and speaker actively engaged in the conversation. 
  3. Coach Instead of Command  Great leaders give feedback constantly to their people to build a continuous improvement culture. Instead of commanding or focusing constructive feedback on the person, great leaders coach their employees on behaviours & processes that need future improvement. They start with empathy and focus the feedback on future behaviours and processes.
  4. Encourage and Recognise their People’s Strengths – Great leaders don’t focus their feedback only on behaviours they want changed, they also give positive feedback. Encouragement lets people know they’re on the right track and helps them to maintain positive, ethical, and productive work habits while repeating and building upon those behaviours.
  5. Cultivate Relationships & Communication – Great leaders don’t give their employees tasks and disappear. They cultivate productive and engaging relationships with their people by regularly touching base; building trust & psychological safety. These informal touchpoints are key in giving space to their people to openly ask questions, raise concerns and build connection.

Here’s the bright side, the 5 things that great leaders do are behaviours not traits. If you see that you’re not doing one of these behaviours, you’re not doomed to being a bad boss.

Because in the end, there are no bad bosses. But there is bad bossery. That distinction’s important. One’s a person, the other’s a set of behaviours.  Behaviours are things you can notice and analyse. Even better, you can take steps to change your behaviours and become a great leader.

So become aware of your mindset and behaviours and choose to be the best leader you can be; your people will be happier, healthier and more productive because of it.