Getting past bad bosses is hard. But I am going to try.

I have (and I am sure you have as well) had a number of these bosses over the years. While you work for them you chafe under the thumb because that is how they manage. They keep everyone under their thumb. Then years later when you are free, they still try to control you by basically talking about how bad you are to everyone that will listen. What I realized the other day is I never talk about the other side of bad managers. When you have a good manager. Being a front line manager is hard. You don’t really always get the support you need to succeed.

That’s because the impact of that bad manager is huge. I had a great boss early in my IT career. He was a former IBM person and the director of IT where I worked back in the mid-90’s. If I had stayed in that job it would have only been because of him. He was great manager and always said “one aw-crap outweighs 25 at-a-boys.” What bad managers don’t realize, when they you into the office to manage you because of something you’ve done, the aw-crap they create wipes anything good they’ve ever done. That one movement where they talk to you (and don’t listen) about what you did wrong without hearing your side, wipes all the good.

Over the years I had a great boss in Cincinnati working for a partner. I left a great boss in Cincinnati for a great boss who worked out of Detroit. That boss later became a dear friend – great boss. I had another great boss in Columbus Ohio and then didn’t have another great boss until I transferred to Chicago. The funny thing is those bad bosses still impact me more than the good bosses did. They shouldn’t. I have come to realize that my own advice (just press reset every day) applies.

Bad bosses are like cheap wine. If it doesn’t taste good, pour it out. You aren’t throwing money away, you are just using the wine to clean out the garbage disposal. Reset everyday. If you have a bad boss, find a new one. Loyalty is a two way street. If your boss isn’t loyal to you (and you will know quickly) start considering options.

if you, and with bad bosses and managers you often do, question their ethics – leave. I choose to transfer to a manager once that I knew had ethical issues. He was willing to cut corners and only listened to one side of everything. He put people in difficult situations and then expected miracles. I should have left long before I did. Loyalty is a two-way street.

So celebrate great bosses. Or in reality celebrate great leaders that also manage teams. Welcome the opportunity to express your loyalty to someone that will ultimately return it. Loyalty is a two-way street. If one side has ethical issues, get off the street. If your boss isn’t loyal to you, find a new boss.

I celebrate the great bosses I’ve had over the years. I am going to start forgetting the bad ones. My goal is to be positive and be loyal to the bosses that are loyal to me. The ones in the past who were more focused on their own career or more focused on my being wholly loyal to them, lost me a long time ago. I am letting go and forgetting they ever existed.

So to all the great bosses I’ve had over the years thanks!


Moving to positive