15 Major Traits Of A Bad Boss

Posted On:2016-07-02    Category: Leadership Development
15 Major Traits Of A Bad Boss


All of us have some negative qualities, make mistakes, and mess up. After all, “We’re only human.”

But bad managers seem to collect these traits faster than a hoarder fills a house.  If you are working for someone and find yourself nodding vigorously as you read this list, you officially have a bad boss.

What traits would you add to the list?

1.Steals credit

You work all night to get it done. Instead of praising you, you find your name removed and her name prominently at the top. She basks in the light of your success and barely acknowledges your contribution.

2.Manages up

Sure, everyone needs to manage up. But, he does it exclusively. His boss loves him. Everyone else sees that he sucks up so much that he has little time for anything else.


Threats and intimidation mark the way he manages. You are not asked; you are bullied.

4.Creates a culture of distrust and fear

You constantly worry about losing your job. Politics is more important than performance. Your friends may really be enemies.

5.Poor self-awareness

What seems obvious to everyone else, she misses. Her effect on people is something that she completely misses. She never comes back and apologizes or corrects a misunderstanding because she is just not aware of her impact.

6.Poor communicator

Information is withheld. Few understand what he means. More time is spent trying to decode the little communication that happens than actually listening to the message.


She dictates every last detail. There is no room for creativity or deviation from the plan. You are to execute orders and report back. Constantly.

8.Only focused on work

He talks business, all the time. Bring up a family issue and he is uncomfortable and shifts the conversation back to the bottom line. You don’t know if he even has a life outside of the office.


Everything is about him. Not the organizational goals, but his bonus. Not about the team, but about his individual performance. “How I look” is more important than anything else.

10.Poor listening skills

Whatever you say, he hears what he wants to hear. He interrupts constantly, is always looking elsewhere, and he miscommunicates what you told him.

11.Keeps people around who suck up and yet don’t perform

Everyone knows that someone needs to go, but that person is firmly ensconced in his position because of his ability to suck up. The boss loves the adulation so much that the subordinate’s job is secure.


You catch him in a web of lies. You leave every meeting thinking about the real intention.

13.Wants only praise and good news

You have a problem, but he will not listen. You lost an account, but you cannot bring it up. Problems must be hidden. Only good news is shared because he cannot seem to handle anything more.

14.Tells you what to do

Instead of convincing and selling his ideas, he issues them like edicts.

15.Thinks only about short-term results

It’s today and this quarter that concern her. Anything beyond that is too far in the future.