Bad Leaders, Bad Managers, Bad Bosses

Unless you believe that more than two dozen former staff members of Senator Amy Klobuchar made things up out of whole cloth and, or, unless you believe that many if not most of these people have a vendetta against superiors who are females, working for Senator Klobuchar is at best high stress. She appears a classic case of a “bad boss.”

Go online and you’ll see a gazillion entries on the subject, many of them checklists of what bad bosses typically do: they publicly criticize, they don’t listen, they are quick to get angry, they are ungrateful, they are unsupportive, they lack empathy, they micromanage, they disrespect, and they have little or no self-awareness. Sadly – for she seems otherwise a smart, sensible centrist – Klobuchar fits the bill. To all appearances she is a “petty tyrant.”  

Petty tyrants drive me nuts. There’s no excuse for them, none. Their realms generally are small not large. Their grievances generally are small not large. And the stakes generally are small not large. At the same time the harm that superiors can inflict on their subordinates sometimes is considerable. In 2015 Gallup found that more than half of those who quit their jobs did so on account of a bad boss. A healthy response, as bad bosses can cause all sorts of damage, from garden variety workplace misery to clinical depression to ulcers and high blood pressure.    

Why would anyone behave this way toward anyone else? Why would anyone be disdainful and dictatorial when it’s cheap to be nice? Real cheap. Cheap and easy.

I believe at least some of the charges against Senator Klobuchar are true. So there’s no chance she’ll get my support. I further believe that teaching leadership and management should be – above all – about preaching common human decency toward everyone/anyone, no matter their status or station  

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