The #1 Reason People have Bad Bosses

Stress quote by Simon Sinek

One of the questions I get asked the most is, “Why are there so many bad bosses?”

The answer is very simple: There aren’t enough good bosses to fill all of the positions.

If there were enough good bosses to fill all of the positions, the bad bosses would be struggling to hold an entry-level position. Bad bosses would have to change (develop their character), or they would be changed (replaced).

However, this blog post isn’t about why there are so many bad bosses. It’s about the #1 reason people have a bad boss. Not everyone has a bad boss, but many go to work day after day and deal with a bad boss.

Why do people do that? They obviously don’t like doing it. Most of them moan, groan, and complain endlessly about “having to” work for a bad boss.

If you have a bad boss, the reason is probably not what you’re expecting. You may not even want to hear it. But, you absolutely need to hear it. And, you need to act on it, or nothing will change.

The #1 and only reason people have bad bosses is because they choose to work for them day after day.

Of course, those with bad bosses don’t blame themselves for “having to” work for a bad boss. You won’t hear them say I work for a bad boss because I choose to do it day after day. That would require them to accept responsibility and take action if they want to change their circumstances.

Instead, you will hear them blaming the bad boss for being who they are and acting the way they do. And, those with bad bosses will find others that feel the same way and are happy to join them in the blame game. They don’t accept responsibility for their choice to work for a bad boss day after day. They transfer it. When they do, they guarantee things will most likely remain the same.

I agree it’s the fault of the boss that they are the way they are and act the way they do. However, that has nothing to do with why someone works for a bad boss. These are two very different issues. One you can’t control. One you can.

Choosing to work for a bad boss has nothing to do with the bad boss and everything to do with you.

Many years ago, before I figured this out, I worked for bad bosses. But, once I figured this out and started developing myself, I began to create options for myself. Having more options means having more choices. One of those choices was to fire the bad boss and hire a new one.

What do I mean? I mean transfer to a different department or facility within the same organization or leave the company completely. Those who blame the bad boss don’t have this option. That’s why they blame the bad boss. However, a bad boss isn’t responsible for creating your options. You are.

I haven’t worked for a bad boss in years, and I will never work for a bad boss again. However, there are many that I worked alongside that blamed the bad bosses I used to have. Guess what? They are still working for the bad bosses. And, they are still blaming them. Therefore, nothing has changed for them.

There’s only one person that is truly responsible for your circumstances: YOU.

If you’re tired of working for a bad boss, what do you do? Quit! It’s really that simple for those with options.

If you can’t quit, why not? Why don’t you have options? What are you doing with all of that time between the time you get off work and the time you back to work?You decide if you pick up a beer or a book. You decide if you go to the beach or to a class.

You decide if you invest your time developing yourself and creating a better future or if you waste your time escaping from the life you’ve already created.

The bad boss doesn’t determine what you do when you’re not at work. However, what you do when you’re not at work has the biggest impact on where you work, what type of work you do, when you work, what you get paid to work, and most importantly, who (which type of boss) pays you to work.

In my early days working for bad bosses, I decided to go to college so I could become a “better” boss and get a better job working with a better boss. Was it hard? Absolutely! Did it work? Absolutely!

But, I didn’t stop with a four year degree that took me nearly eight years to get. I started reading process improvement books daily between 2005-2008. Then, in 2008, I began reading leadership books daily and will never stop. Everything in my life has changed as a result. Also as a result, I’m helping great leaders develop their people. I’m also helping people with bad bosses develop themselves, so they can walk away and create a better future for themselves like I did.

If you’re a part of the entry-level, blue-collar workforce, I’ve just written a book, Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines, that the bad boss will not want you to read. It will actually benefit anyone with a bad boss regardless of the type work you do and regardless of your position. If you read it, learn the principles, and apply them, I can assure you that everything will change for you.

You will get noticed for the right reasons by the right people. You will get promoted for the right reasons. And most importantly, you will have options you’ve never had. And, you can say goodbye to any bad boss you encounter.

Stop blaming bad bosses for your circumstances. Take responsibility, develop yourself, and create options for yourself. If you don’t, no one else will. You must choose to make it happen.