RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

Good boss/bad boss

It's sad and shocking to hear some of the stories we hear during our Leadership MasterClass about people's challenges with bosses. Working for a good or great boss can significantly impact your overall job satisfaction, career satisfaction and levels of motivation and effort. Similarly, working for a bad boss can hurt those same things. If you've been in the working world for any amount of time, you’ve likely experienced both.

Rishad Tobaccowala is a senior advisor to the Publicis Groupe and a great friend of RAB. In his recent article, Beware of the Bossy Traits, he provides an excellent summary of the five key traits of leadership:

Competency/Capability – They know and excel at their craft.

Integrity – They face reality. They are transparent.

Empathy – They care and are concerned about others.

Vulnerability – They accept mistakes and are aware they don’t know all the answers.

Inspiration – They recognize that people choose with their hearts.

Tobaccowala writes that these are the five "Bossy Boss" traits to avoid or mitigate:

The Narcissistic God. These bosses believe that only they know the answer, only they are capable of handling the major meeting and only they should get the credit for their teams' success.

The Micromanaging Fiddler. These folks are terrific operators – they know how to get things done – but as managers, they retain their obsessive detail orientation.

The Oscar Aspirant. These types emote, loudly and dramatically. Erratic and unpredictable, they are a rollercoaster of emotions.

The Scheming Sphinx. This is the person who smiles, blows air-kisses and oozes charisma and friendship and says nor shares anything substantial while sucking up as much information as possible and probing for vulnerabilities.

The Double-Crossing Assassin. While the previous four types are expressive (or anti-expressive in the case of the Scheming Sphinx) in their terribleness, Assassins are soft-spoken, well-behaved and self-controlled.

With that great framework and those descriptive terms, we should be able to adjust our management style to the style we want. It's never easy, but it is achievable. The resulting impact on your team will likely be dramatic, depending on your starting point.

Our next Leadership MasterClass (LMC) will start in a few months. If you want help being a better manager, this course can help. Contact Kim Johnson, kjohnson@rab.com, for information about when the next class will start.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@rab.com. You can all so connect with him on X and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development