Would you take a bullet for your boss?
More than 70% of people
who were asked that question in a recent survey conducted by bodyguard
David Simmonds, whose job it is to do just that, said no way would they
stand between someone with a gun and their boss.
STORY: People stress about bad bosses
EXCERPT: 'How to Work for an Idiot'
Not surprising, right? Unless, like Simmonds, your duty is to protect the person you work for, it's asking a lot.
what is startling is that many people dislike their managers so much
that they're not even willing to cover up for their boss's mistakes,
according to my very unscientific survey. Some say they would go as far
as to sabotage the work.
The biggest frustration people say they have at work are "idiot" bosses. They define them as bosses who:
• Do not have a clue how to do their jobs.
• Aren't able to solve problems when you come to them with issues.
• Are insensitive to people around them.
includes managers who berate employees in front of others to exert
power and who take credit for work they didn't do.
quite a discrepancy between how employees rate their managers and how
the managers rate themselves. The latter think they're a lot better at
managing than their employees rate them.
of the reason managers don't know how folks feel about them is that
only a small percentage of the workforce is given the chance to review a
manager's performance formally. And most workers aren't going to take
the risk of telling their manager what they really think.
bosses who are not mean, incompetent, clueless and insensitive have a
tough go at it because of the very nature of the relationship, which has
a "sense of 'superior-inferior'" psychologist Elizabeth Lombard says.
'inferior' does not feel good. A worker is often anxious around her
boss, second guessing what she is doing because she expects her boss to
be constantly judging her," Lombard says.
"involves an uneven power dynamic," psychotherapist Charles Allen says.
"In general, people don't like being told what to do."
be OK with being told what to do if - and that's a big if - "they have a
high level of confidence and trust that the boss knows what they are
doing and it will bring about a desirable result," he says.
many workers don't have that high level of trust. As a result, next year
many are getting ready to leave their jobs and seek new and improved
Another survey - this one conducted by British recruitment firm Staffbay
- found that of 15,000 workers 87% wanted to leave their current role
and would be job hunting in 2014. When asked why, 53% said: "I don't
trust my boss."
What exactly don't they trust? Many respondents
said they didn't trust them "to do the right thing by them and their
career." Others felt they weren't valued at all.
People just don't
want to be around a manager "who appears to not know what they are
doing, doesn't know how to motivate through a positive approach, micro
manages, is controlling, is power hungry, doesn't have the best interest
of the company in mind, has selfish motives or is condescending,
patronizing or unfair," Allen says.
If you manage people and
really want to know how you are doing, here's the simplest way to find
out: Use the technique of former New York City mayor Ed Koch. He would
walk around the city and ask the people he served, "How'm I doin'?"
Career consultant Andrea Kay is the author of This Is How To Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @AndreaKayCareer.