How to Be a Bad Boss


I think there are many small business owners out there who became entrepreneurs not because they had a burning desire to be one, but because their experience of having a boss was so awful that they ‘escaped’ to self-employment. Unfortunately, as the business grows, hiring employees becomes a necessity and suddenly the entrepreneur is a boss… a boss whose role model may have been a Hitler-wannabee.

Here are ten tips on how to win “worst boss of the year award”.

  1. Make all of the decisions, all of the time and never ever share your thinking or reasoning. Do not ask for input or creativity as this only upsets the status quo. Employees love being mindless automatons with no responsibility.

  2. Micromanage your employees with rigid policies and procedures and checklists. Clock-watching is a very important tool to control employees who are generally lazy skivers. It is recommended to ‘dock’ an employee’s pay if s/he is late.

  3. Do not allow any disagreement or expressions of frustration. This is a sign of weakness and a challenge to your authority. This is your business and it is your way or the high way!

  4. Employees will never learn unless you blame and shame them. It is completely unacceptable to make a mistake and they must pay if it affects the bottom line. It is wise to constantly correct and criticizes to ensure they do it properly. The boss can never be wrong, so it will always be someone else’s fault.

  5. Only delegate the work you do not want to do or the tedious or ‘yucky’ stuff. The boss should consider his status and not get his hands dirty. Employees need to know their place and that is certainly not equal with you.

  6. Employees are here to work, not to chat or play on their cell phones. Social interaction is for legally required breaks only. It is very important to keep their distance, lest employees become overly familiar.

  7. Staff should not be trusted with confidential information and especially not with money or expensive equipment. Every last cent should be accounted for and it is advisable to give them cheap tools to do the job. Ensure that you have strict firewalls in place to prevent access to social media on work computers. Keys and passwords are vital to protecting the business’ property from devious and dishonest employees.

  8. Health and safety rules are for government compliance purposes only. It is a waste of money and time to stick to all those procedures. Employees are adults and must look after themselves… you’re running a business, not a crèche!

  9. Employees are paid to do the job to your expectations. It is not your responsibility to train people. If they want to learn more skills or study then they must go off and do it, but not on your dime!

  10. Don’t worry about giving feedback. It’s simple, if you’re not happy with them, they will hear about it. Performance management is for sissy psychologists, not real managers.

Don’t be a leader! Be the boss!

Key take out: Effective and positive management of people does not come naturally.  Consider carefully the kind of culture you wish to create and the kind of employees you wish to work with and lead accordingly.

Author: Janet Askew


Janet Askew

Janet is a trainer, coach, speaker and writer who is passionate about promoting women in business and SMME development. In addition to her consulting work, she is a director of Essentially Natural and serves on the board of the Wot-If? Trust.



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