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What's Worse Than An Asshole Boss?

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Is there anything worse than having an asshole boss? Probably not. But the ghost boss might be a close second.

Everyone knows that working for an asshole is the absolute worst. It takes a terrible toll on your self-confidence, your mental health, and your physical health. It can take a long time and a lot of internal work to recover from working for an asshole.

But when it comes to bad bosses, the ghost boss is the dark horse.

To be an effective leader, you must motivate and support your team. Team meetings, regular one-on-one check-ins and coaching sessions are key ingredients. When a manager or leader consistently de-prioritizes or avoids these interactions, it leaves employees stranded without guidance or mentorship. When a boss has no time for their employees, individuals on the team feel alienated.

It often takes longer than working for an asshole because it's less direct and obvious, but in the hierarchy of bad bosses, the ghost stands out as one who leaves those on their team feeling invisible.

When the boss doesn't engage and cancels one-on-one and team meetings regularly, it's a strong signal that the team's contributions, concerns, and development are not a priority. It's demoralizing. And it makes it incredibly challenging to feel motivated or committed to the leader or to that organization.

The absence of regular interaction sends a very clear message.

There are enough memes in circulation to understand that everyone wants fewer meetings. But when canceling one-on-ones becomes the norm (or they never even make it to the calendar), the message is clear: That person and their contributions are not significant enough to warrant a dedicated slot on the calendar. Individual conversations with the boss are often a major way employees stay connected, not only with their boss but with the broader organization. Over time, team members start questioning their place in the organization. They wonder if anyone sees them and if their time and efforts have any meaning.

Leaders who neglect the personal and professional needs of their team risk creating a toxic workplace culture. It's a really great way to burn out and run out great employees. So, when you find yourself in the privileged position to lead others, it's obvious that you don't want to be an asshole boss. Let's make sure we're also not a ghost boss.

Maybe you need a get shit done planner notebook to remind you of all of the details and ensure you always Have a Fucking Point?? It couldn't hurt.

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Gina Donnici
Gina Donnici





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