The third cause of bad boss behaviors is needing what we should be leading. If a leader needs their job, they will be more susceptible to Bad Boss Behavior™. The susceptibility stems from prioritizing what is best for their job security over what is best for the organization and all stakeholders. Let’s look at an example.
Your boss must choose a new benefits plan for the company. They’re confident Provider A is best for the company and its stakeholders. However, their boss really likes Provider B. This may be because provider B gives their boss some kickback, helps them hit their quarterly bonus, is led by a personal friend, or some other reason.
If your boss needs their job to sustain health benefits for their family, they are less likely to make the best decision for the company. Therefore, your boss will be pressured to select Provider B for their own benefit. Therefore, your boss practices bad boss behavior.
BUT… THEIR BOSS?
A well structured compensation model should also ensure your boss’s boss has the best interests of the company at heart. Should is the key word. Consider Enron, the 2008 financial crisis, and most major corporate failures. At the heart of those you will find executives who built self serving compensation models or otherwise manipulated systems for personal benefit.
If you are in Human Resources, here is how you can mitigate the likelihood of this Bad Boss Behavior in your business:
We cannot lead what we need. By networking up, establishing financial independence, and building self-confidence we reduce our need and increase our ability to lead.
As an employer, implementing mitigation steps like mentoring, succession planning, transparency, oversight, and feedback systems ensures we have leaders who lead from desire, not need. When leaders are free from the shackles of personal dependency, the possibilities for a better, brighter, and more innovative future for their organizations become limitless.
Until next time, keep serving.
* I’m aware these statements reflect privilege. There are many in this world with lesser means or opportunity. In such situations, financial independence is not a possibility, and we suggest placing greater emphasis on networking up and self-confidence.