33 Quotes About Bad Managers


Bad managers can become a virus to corporate businesses. These quotes about bad managers capture the negative effects that can be the result neglect and abuse in business.

“All bosses can be more effective when they work with, rather than against, the peer culture. Bosses who are known as fair and consistent will get more support from the peer culture when they do their dirty work.”

“And the most talented people in every occupation have huge advantages over their ordinary peers.”

“As a boss, you need to establish a pecking order where people who know the most about a problem wield the greatest influence over what is done.”

“Better to shoot the messenger than to learn about—and fix—the problems. In contrast to such constructive defiance, I know bosses who employ the opposite strategy to undermine and drive out incompetent superiors.”

“Bosses shape how people spend their days and whether they experience joy or despair, perform well or badly, or are healthy or sick. Unfortunately, there are hoards of mediocre and downright rotten bosses out there, and big gaps between the best and the worst.”

“Fight as if you are right, listen as if you are wrong.”

“Good bosses also know the wrong times to fight. Tearing apart a newborn idea can kill it before it develops enough to be judged. That is why skilled group brainstorming leaders forbid premature criticism.”

“Good bosses focus their attention, and their people’s efforts, on the small number of things that matter most. The best bosses learn when they can and should ignore the least important demands from others.”

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

“I come from a family of domestics. I think most African-Americans of my age do. They were trusted by their bosses. I have met so many white people that spent more time with their nannies than they have with their own parents.”

“If you are a boss, ask yourself: When you look back at how you’ve treated followers, peers, and superiors, in their eyes, will you have earned the right to be proud of yourself?”

“If you are a parent, you have probably already realized that your children are always watching what you do. And just as children watch their parents and emulate their behavior, so do employees who are watching their bosses.”

“Interruptions are especially destructive to people who need to concentrate – knowledge workers like hardware engineers, graphic designers, lawyers, writers, architects, accountants, and so on.”

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

“Listen to those under your supervision. Really listen. Don’t act as if you’re listening and let it go in one ear and out the other. Faking it is worse than not doing it at all.”

“My rule of thumb is that no work team should have membership in the double digits (and my preferred size is six), since our research has shown that the number of performance problems a team encounters increases exponentially as team size increases.”

“Negative interactions (and the bad apples who provoke them) pack such a wallop in close relationships because they are so distracting, emotionally draining, and deflating.”

“Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it…Don’t allow his anger to become your anger.”

“Performance and humanity are the goals that great bosses aim to achieve. Yet the best bosses devote little energy to thinking about how great it would be to reach these goals, worrying if they can, or even celebrating when they do.”

“Psychological safety is the key to creating a workplace where people can be confident enough to act without undue fear of being ridiculed, punished, or fired – and be humble enough to openly doubt what is believed and done.”

“Research on control has been conducted under many different banners – self-efficacy, autonomy, helplessness, empowerment, and, of course, small wins.”

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”

“Talented employees who put their needs ahead of their colleagues and the company are dangerous.”

“The best bosses do more than charge up people, and recruit and breed energizers. They eliminate the negative, because even a few bad apples and destructive acts can undermine many good people and constructive acts.”

“The best fighter is never angry.”

“The best management is sometimes less management or no management at all.”

“The bosses of our mass media, press, radio, film and television, succeed in their aim of taking our minds off disaster. Thus, the distraction they offer demands the antidote of maximum concentration on disaster.”

“The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.”

“The worst bosses condemn their people to live in constant fear as they wait for the next wave of bad news, which always seems to hit without warning and at random intervals.”

“We wondered if there was research on stand-up meetings, and to our delight, we found an experiment comparing decisions made by fifty-six groups where people stood up during meetings to fifty-five groups where people sat down.”

“When you hear bosses talk about their best salespeople, they often refer to them as rock stars. It’s the highest praise your boss can give someone on your team.”

“When your boss listens to you carefully, reaches out to help you, and learns from you, it enhances your dignity and pride.”

“With power comes the abuse of power. And where there are bosses, there are crazy bosses. It’s nothing new.”

Dealing with a bad boss does not come without its consequences.

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