What’s one thing that almost every person in the working world loves to complain about? Here’s a hint: it’s one of the most popular things to talk about on first dates, has become a cliché in western movies, and it’s the primary source of conversation between co-workers behind closed doors. In case you haven’t guessed, it’s bosses! It could be an unreasonable manager who doesn’t show any empathy when something goes wrong. Or a short-tempered time bomb who explodes on employees who don’t deserve it. Sometimes it is even a bad leader who leads a team to failure or kills any sort of progress within a company. Whatever the reason, employees love to complain about those in charge. There seems to be some sort of backwards rule that authority comes to those who least deserve it, and bosses who rise to the top aren’t the best for the well-being of employees and customers. So what traits are present in a leader that brings them to this position? What makes a good boss good, and a bad boss bad?
First, it should be clarified what a good or bad boss is. An effective leader is someone who inspires people to work hard and achieve company goals, but also who makes employees feel like they can be comfortable in the work environment and have a say in the company. Defining a bad boss is much easier: someone who is unfair, treats people poorly, is bad for business, or who don’t fulfill their duties and responsibilities as a manager. A good boss maximizes the experience for the business, the employees, and the customers all at once. When one of those segments are neglected, they become a bad leader. So how can those with authority make sure there are no compromises in those big three areas of a business?
Well, the way the business world works in a capitalist market is always putting the customer first. The responsibility of most managers is to ensure that customers get the highest quality product or service that the company is capable of offering. When the customer’s needs are met and exceeded, bosses then look after the company. Margins must be maintained, profits maximized, and extra costs kept to a minimum. This is how businesses sustain themselves and are the reason that employees keep their job in the first place.
Meeting these two goals are not easy, but possible for most people. A manager can push themselves and their employees to meet the needs of both customers and the company’s bottom line. However, when balancing the needs of those two, the needs of the workers are often left out. Authorities are pushed to achieve, and therefore must push the workforce they oversee to do the same. This is truly where great bosses are separated from the rest because leadership skills are tested to the extreme. Managers need to maintain the customer’s level of satisfaction while producing income for the company AND preventing employees from becoming overworked or having low morale. It is harder than it seems to do so, and that is the reason why it seems there are so many “bad” bosses out there. Those rare leaders who balance the needs for profits, satisfied customers, and happy employees are the good ones.