The Intolerable Boss: Part I

This is my twenty-ninth weekly Blog regarding the state of leadership in America. The overwhelming results of employee surveys consistently show that the number one issue in the workplace is poor leadership or more bluntly, an intolerable boss. Throughout my career of 40 years which encompassed time spent in the military as a US Army officer, in leadership positions in the federal government, and as a human resources director, I had the opportunity to observe several hundred individuals in leadership positions and witness first-hand the demoralizing effects poor leaders have on their employees and the workforce in general. Intolerable bosses can be divided into two main groups:
The first group epitomizes the title of Boss and rules their worksites and the employees in them with an iron hand. These bosses typically make all the decisions and do not solicit input from their workers. They often use fear and intimidation to drive their employees to achieve the goals of the organization.
The second group can be described as do-nothing bosses. These bosses typically are procrastinators and want to preserve the status quo and will not make any decisions or allow any changes until they are 99 percent sure that the decision or change is the right one. Things get done in their worksites not because of them, but in spite of them.
Employees are very reluctant to complain to higher level managers about their boss because they fear retaliation, and they realize that higher level managers rarely take any action to effectively deal with a poor leader; consequently, employees just grin and bear it every day. They dread going to work and having to interact with their boss and they have little or no loyalty to the organization and its mission and goals. It’s just about a paycheck to the employees who work under an intolerable boss. This scenario plays itself out in our government offices, corporations, financial institutions, and so forth every day. If an organization is to survive, the intolerable boss must be dealt with. To do so, we must realize that theses intolerable bosses or poor leaders are products of the scientific approach to leadership which has been the predominate methodology followed for generations in America to create leaders. In my next blog entitled “The Intolerable Boss Part II” to be published on June 7, I will lay out the significant drawbacks associated with this scientific approach and discuss an alternate method to improve leadership in America.

This entry was posted in Business, Government, Leadership, Leadership DNA, Management, Paul Okum, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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