Never Let a Bad Boss Control Your Life and Limit Your Career

Power causes entitlement.

Bad bosses ignore the negative influence of power.


“My boss picks his nose.”

Yes! One reader shared the story of watching her boss pick his nose.

Powerful people tend to be rude. They smack when they eat. Food falls out of their mouth. They take the last cookie rather than sharing it.

Dr. Dacher Keitner assigned a random person to be the ‘supervisor’. Even though the position was random, they engaged in rude behaviors. (The Power Paradox)

Bonus video: Never take the last cookie!

*Bad bosses:

  1. Send the little guy to do the dirty work.
  2. Don’t look up when you enter their office.
  3. Deflect difficult situations on the person who brought them up.
  4. Tolerate bullying behaviors from high performers.
  5. Interrupt while others talk. Once they get the floor, they don’t stop talking.

(*Real examples.)

Never let someone you don’t like control your life and limit your career.

Two rules for success when you have a bad boss:

Rule #1: Your boss’s boss won’t correct the situation. This is true if your bad boss has longevity and he was hired by his current boss. When these two things are true, don’t expect things to change. Adopt other strategies to improve your life.

Rule #2: Bring your best self to work. Be pleasant, helpful, productive, kind, positive, and energetic. Adopt positive behaviors because it’s who you are.

Never let a bad boss make you a bad employee.

I gave a frustrated coaching client this feedback. “Your best self comes out when you talk about work, projects, and vision. But when you talk about your bad boss, your worst self comes out.”

“Which self do you want others to see?”

What rules might you suggest for people who have a bad boss?

Power tip: If you have power use it in service to others.