Secrets of the Bad Manager: How to Make Your Employees Hate You

“A good manager is a man who isn’t worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.” -H.S.M. Burns

Good managers are hard to find and even harder to become, but that is exactly what you should strive to be if you want the business to run smoothly and efficiently. Whether you are the owner or simply the manager, the responsibility of leading and delegating falls on your shoulders, and in this position you can either be loved or hated by your people. It is up to you which path to take, but if you feel like being the evil boss that nobody likes, here are some secrets of the bad manager that would be perfect for you.

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Set policies that you personally don’t intend to follow. Have you ever heard of the saying that you need to “lead by example”? If so, forget about it because it is utter nonsense. Being a hypocrite is one of the best ways of losing the favour of your employees, which means that while you can go around making up rules and regulations left and right, you are not necessarily obliged to follow them. Do this only when you have something to gain so that most of the time your employees are running around trying to skate around the policies while you don’t worry about a thing.

Throw everybody under the bus. Do you have an angry owner or line of customers breathing down your neck because somebody somewhere made a small mistake? Never fear, because you can always throw somebody else under the bus in order to save your own dignity. It’s every man for himself, and as someone in a position of power, you can easily dictate who among your men will take the fall for something which may not even be their fault. There is no such thing as fairness.

Never acknowledge a job well done… Consequently, it is your duty to turn a blind eye to the hard work put in by your employees, especially if you accomplish a measure of success because of the said efforts. There is no such thing as “positive reinforcement” in bad manager vocabulary, which makes life much easier for you since you never have to worry about rewarding or even “giving props” to someone who deserves it.

And blow up at the smallest mistakes. Use all of the time and effort that you save in not acknowledging a job well done in order to nitpick and be obsessive over the tiniest details. Look out for employees who commit the slightest, most insignificant errors, and then go ballistic on them as if they’ve singlehandedly destroyed the business. Bad manager ethics dictate that you should be as irrational as possible and that you are required to tell employees off in front of customers to embarrass them.

Look out for potential successors…and stand in the way. There’s a potential manager in everyone, and as a manager yourself you should be able to see this little spark in those who could possibly be the greatest managers ever. Warning: These people are called your COMPETITION, and so the natural thing to do would be to do everything in your power to hinder their advancement. If you can get them to quit, perfect.

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You are never wrong or accountable. One of the skills needed to be one of the worst managers ever is to be completely shameless and arrogant. This way, you never admit to being wrong and you never take the blame for something that was completely your fault. Accountability is only a concept that works in successful businesses, and that certainly wouldn’t do in your workplace. You’re the manager; it’s automatic immunity.

When things get bad, hide in your office! Your employees might not be able to do a thing about your unprofessional behaviour, but you never want to be caught in the line of fire of angry, stampeding customers. The worst part is that they always want to speak to a manager, so in cases like this, the best thing to do would be to hide out in your office until the customer gets fed up and leave. It’s cowardly, but effective.

Employees have brilliant ideas; steal them. Want a chance to get in the spotlight and in the good graces of the owner (assuming that’s not you)? Get your employees together and have them brainstorm for great ideas for improvement; choose the best ones and implement them; and then take all the credit when things turn out perfectly. It’s fast, easy, and completely effort-free, so why come up with your own ideas when you can get others to do it for you?

This is but a very short list of the many things you can follow in order to become a bad manager. It’s a sure-fire way of staying in business or in your position for just a very short time before everything falls apart. Naturally, if you want the opposite to happen, these are exactly the things that you should strive hard not to do. But where’s the fun in that, huh?


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