Alchemical Thoughts

On bad bosses, Part 2

Posted on: August 27, 2009

A couple of things have been buzzing in my mind lately. One issues about bad bosses. The other a recent post I read that librarians who do not want to be managers, let alone appreciate bad ones, and complain about it somehow have a "bad attitude." I have been wanting to reply to that for a while, but as usual, time has been tight. But I hope to get to it eventually. Bottom line: I happen to be one of those librarians, and if it's a problem to you up in your ivory tower, tough.

In the meantime, these are a few things I have been reading and picking up on my feed reader. I hope I can draw on some of this to write something more thoughtful later.

  • From the blog Dumb Little Man, here is "How to be a great boss." The third item on his list, "delegate–then stay hands off" is one of my favorites. Nothing annoys me more than a boss who thinks they are "helping" with "suggestions" after they assign you a task. Tell me what you want, then stay the hell out of my way. When I am done, I will let you know. Micromanaging is not going to get it done any faster unless you want to do it yourself.
  • This is not so much about bad bosses, but it is something for bosses to consider nonetheless. From Mashable, "Friending your employees: What are the rules?" The rules are pretty basic. I think overall, the best answer may well be no. And if you are an employee, and your boss asks to friend you, you may want to decline. At any rate, people should know by now to be careful what they post online given the potential someone you don't want to see it may see it anyways.
  • I keep finding over time that a lot of bosses simply do not know how to manage a meeting. This is something that interests me, maybe because I have been victimized by one bad meeting too many. I could tell you all sorts of horror stories, and they usually due to some manager who just does not know how to control or run a meeting. From Dumb Little Man, here is "How to get more from Live Meetings." 
  • Lifehacker has an interesting post on "Why the manager's schedule blows creative productivity." I have had bosses guilty of this: have no understanding of what us creative types do and the kind of time we need to do it in. For instance, "when managers schedule makers into midday meetings, they kill creative productivity in real but not-obvious ways." I know at least one manager who does this consistently. It's a miracle I get anything done.
  • Bob Sutton speaks a bit more on "You know your boss is a certified asshole when. . . ." He is expanding a bit on the issue of asshole bosses and collateral damage that he wrote about previously. Sutton also highlights an article he had published in Harvard Business Review (June 2009) on "How to be a good boss in a bad economy." I have to look it up sometime and have a look.
  • Via Copyblogger, here are "7 types of people everyone wishes would just shut the **** up." I include this here to go with the post about meetings noted above. This is because you often see these asshats during meetings, and they tend to be people that the boss fails to control or manage. And speaking of certain people, Sutton discusses the "Sir, we don't actually do what we propose. We just propose it" syndrome. And I know just that type of person.
  • Bob Sutton recommends a book called I Hate People. The post is here. I have added it to my TBR list. Not just about bad bosses but also about those not so nice coworkers.
  • This sounds like some meetings I have attended. For bosses, maybe decision by committee, or trying to please everyone to get the precious consensus, is not the best way to go. Here is "what would happen if the Stop sign was invented in 2008" via Public Sector Marketing 2.0 blog. 

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