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  • Peter Bouloukos

Ten Signs you are a Bad Boss!

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

1) You fail to give managers and leaders guidance: Plans? Vision? Goals? Who needs them when personally you are dynamic and capable! You prefer to make decisions on the fly and probably often change course.

The problem? Your people will wait until "told" and no doubt fail to navigate very fundamental challenges on-time or with any consistency. When you don't plan, set goals or tie everything into a "like" vision, people will move in all different directions and customers will no doubt experience this. You have created a codependent relationship and this is dysfunctional at best. 2) You do not offer on-going performance reviews: What? I have to actually sit down and spend time one-on-one sharing ideas, experience, performance goals or vision? People know what they should do...right?

Listen, in some settings when afforded the time I have done as many as three "shift reviews" with the same person in one weeks time. On-going input matched with goal setting is a fantastic way to make people feel comfortable, safe and inspired. Simply stated, if you "don't have time" to "set the table" for success, you will not succeed or ever know true organizational potential. You will also lose good people and waste a lot of money filling gaps while guest perception is no doubt "infected." 3) You play "politics" to gain favor or promotion: Well, in larger corporate groups this is more common than one might imagine. "Tenure" can be the biggest enemy of growth or organizational success. Hey, it’s how you get ahead right? You probably wouldn’t be in your current job if you hadn’t brown-nosed to get it, so why stop doing something that’s worked before. If you are a Supervisor or Owner and everyone sings the same song as you do...beware!

Look for the individuals who challenge ideas or provide on-going input and thought in an attempt to build or evolve. These are most likely your "true friends" who share because they truly care! It's also good to recruit new talent as much as possible. Doing this will either inspire others to step up performance or easily identify those who go through the motions simply to collect a paycheck.

4) You never give others credit: You probably enjoy putting people down both in-front of them or when they are not present too! This is about running a tight ship in your mind! You can never let anyone get too big of a head! When they screw up, they need to know it — and everyone else on the team needs to know it! This type of "top-down" approach puts a straightjacket on organizational potential and drains morale!

Give people credit, it will inspire others to give and achieve more! Personally, I step back and let the team figure things out, even perhaps when my idea may have saved a few more minutes or perhaps a couple dollars. You gain power by releasing control on a variety of fronts. 5) You have never been wrong and have no weaknesses: You’re quite brilliant actually, if you do say so yourself! All of your experience and knowledge makes it difficult for people to understand you, it's probably because they don't listen well or "hear" what you are saying. You might suggest other people are "stupid" and it's just a truth that must be dealt with in business.

The reality is, ten people can all have a different answer or approach and be "correct" in outcome. When you are the smartest person in the probably means you are not very smart.

6) You have consistent turnover: People are constantly quitting or resigning. You fire people because they are not "committed" to the organization like you are. You think your version of change is good. New blood on the team helps bring in new perspectives. So what if some people left? They weren’t up to the challenge of what you’re building here. It’s not for everyone. It takes a special person to be able to work under you right?

First, hire the very best people possible. Hire for character. Hire people who are smarter than you are. Next, develop great people and let them do the work for you. Support and serve your people where they uniquely stand and watch turnover decline. Develop "lifers" making their win "your win" in most every case! 7) You’ve raised your voice more than once in the past year: Listen, that is how you grew up! At the dinner table, you had to raise your voice to be heard. Raising your voice is the only way to make sure everyone is clear about your point! Under pressure its O.K. to yell because it commands people to do their job right now. In-fact, "command & control" is what "management" is all about right?

Personally, I can only laugh here! I have seen General Managers, Supervisors and so-called "leaders" yell, panic and even throw a tantrum! The last time I raised my voice was probably 1997 and it wasn't because I was losing control or needed to be heard by a staff. "Pressure" can't exist if experience and leadership has prepared you for the situation at hand...think about this!

8) You’re vindictive: Well, yes, it’s true you never forget a past wrong and this experience helps you to see things before they happen. So you are wired to compare, contend, criticize and weed out anyone you don't like or "know" is going to do something wrong down the road. After-all, it's probably healthy to go back and show someone not to mess around with you, right? It’s just about showing them they were wrong — not getting them back in any way. Perhaps cutting down their schedule will "show them." If you don't "punish" people than others will walk all over you right?

Simply stated...if this is you, seek help! Cutting down a schedule is chicken-poop management and a strong signal you lack integrity, leadership and probably have never done a performance review.

9) You’ve never read an article, let alone a book about becoming a better person, leader or boss: Who has time for learning, growing or self-help? You are your own boss and know how smart you are. When someone suggests you read a book or watch a documentary it's an "attack" and nobody tells you what to do...right?

In my humble experience, when someone hands you a book or suggests a documentary on a subject, do it. Period. The more one learns, the more one must realize how much they really do not know. 10) You tolerate bad work, let chronic under-performers go unchecked, and play favorites: There are a few folks on the team that probably shouldn’t be there, but they are friends and think like you do.

Be careful who your "advisors" truly are! In work and in life, you become the sum average of everyone and everything you surround yourself with.

Think about this...

The world is a complicated place. No two people see the world exactly the same. If you identify with this list in any fashion, it's telling that something needs to change. It may be you. It may be someone you know. The truth is we are all works in progress, realizing this simple fact is the first step to achieving more or becoming an inspirational leader. Being a leader is not about having power or control. Being a manager is not about positional authority or job title, it's about being a servant. Finally... Avoid the belief a "problem" or a "conflict" is PERSONAL at all emotional costs. Ego and false pride are most likely YOUR false reality or enemies. Begin to use problems as valuable feedback to help move toward "true center" or a straighter course aligned with true potential and company vision. Be grateful... Yours in Success, Peter D. Bouloukos Restaurant Management Consultant Bozeman, Montana 59718

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