Good Boss, Bad Boss: The List

September 21, 2006

Good Boss

  • Is focused on being effective.
  • Knows what I do, what I like to do, what my goals are.
  • Lets me own my job.
  • Praises me when I take initiative.
  • Encourages me to take on projects that advance our goals at work and that also advance my career goals and are in my areas of interest.
  • Knows what’s going on overall at work and has a vision.
  • Is very smart. I learn a lot from him.
  • Is willing and eager to learn from me.
  • Keeps our group informed about what is going in our wider organization and gives us the big picture about how we fit in.
  • Treats us like we are strategic partners and listens to our ideas, and lets us run with the ones that we have made a good case for.
  • Believes that people are capable, and interested in achieving their own goals.
  • Knows how to help people achieve their goals while achieving organizational goals.
  • The way he treats us is motivating.
  • If I had my own company, I would hire him.

Bad Boss

  • Is focused on feeling important.
  • Doesn’t know what I do, or care what I want.
  • Tries to own the people beneath him and their job.
  • Micro-manges to the point of absurdity.
  • Gets angry if people do something without asking him first.
  • Yet is not helpful and does not know what is going on.
  • Is not willing to learn from employees, sometimes not allowing them to talk.
  • If I had my own company, I would fire him.
  • Believes that people are bad and that if you don’t keep a tight reign on them, they will try to get away with stuff.
  • When he talks to me, I want to quit.
  • If owned the company, I would fire him.

This post references this post about bosses.
(Note: I went with all male pronouns for convenience.)


4 Responses to “Good Boss, Bad Boss: The List”

  1. Braidwood-

    This is a well-thought list of attributes of bosses. I believe that every boss has a combination of these characteristics; the various degrees in which these characteristics manifest in his/her behavior makes him/her good or bad. The ultimate test for how one feels about the boss, as you mention is to ask oneself, “If I had my own company, would I hire or fire him”.

    Fundamentally, as you detail, a good boss is somebody that is genuinely interested in the supervisee’s goals, aspirations and professional development. As I explained in my blog article, our relationships with our bosses are circular relationships: if we like our bosses, our bosses like us; if our bosses like us, we like them. A good boss understands this aspect and builds a strong relationship with the supervisee.

    Sorry, URL is long. Here is a shorter version:

    -nagesh (

  2. sanjay Says:

    Very educative keep it up

  3. abused employee Says:

    I worked for really bad boss. Probably the worst person to ever work for. His name is Mark Burstein and I worked with at CareCentrix in Tampa Florida. Here are just some of the things he did.
    1. He constantly threatened his employees jobs.
    2. Kept a list of people he fired on his wall to intimidate his workers
    3. Constantly belittled his employees in front of others.
    4. Always cussed at his workers.
    5. Constantly yelling at his workers.

    Plus many other things. So I suggest anybody that will be working/or hiring this man should seriously reconsider their choice. This man’s goal is to degrade you. If you are an employer you will definitely lose good employees that work for him. If you want to know more just reply to this post.

  4. Living Life Says:

    Some things to consider “abused employee”:

    1) Was he” threatening” your job because you were not doing your job well or were not self motivated to do the level of work required for the job?
    2) If this list of people intimidating you, why didn’t you leave sooner? Maybe the list was a reminder to him to not repeat bad mistakes. Intimidation only happens if you are scared of the person to begin with.
    3) Was it belittled or constructive criticism? If you were doing a great job, there would be no reason to belittle or criticize.
    4) Foul language is the way of corporate america and Adults in general. Did you request to your boss that he not curse in front of you? Whether its a heated conversation or joking around, cursing happens. Words don’t hurt if you don’t let them (sticks and stones break bones, though)
    5) Yelling? or was it talking loud to make an important point?

    Its clear that perception is in the eye of the beholder. I have worked with this person in the past and have a totally different perception. My advice…get over it, and get on with your life. Hating takes more energy than forgiving and forgetting. Enjoy your life…stop being a pisser and moaner!

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