Saturday, July 18, 2009

Are you a "jerk boss"?


Business Times, p.B1-2

Saturday, July 18, 2009




By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

Are you or do you have a 'jerk boss'?


Although we seem to have a never-ending problem of unemployment and underemployment, the more pressing predicament in this crucial economic time we are in is unmotivated employees. They stay with you, but they are not there. They simply fulfill the minimum requirements of the job, they stay within the limits of your Code of Discipline and they do not cause any trouble. They are not as productive and innovative as you want them to be.


A more troubling situation in a recession such as we are in is critical turnover or companies losing their best, brightest and most promising employees. Especially when they are not going anywhere and they are simply pissed off working in your company.


Managers and leaders are so busy with paper work, continuous quality improvement and certifications, endless meetings and implementing company policies, procedures, systems and codes of discipline, they forget the human beings working for them.


In his book, The No Asshole Rule, author Robert Sutton asks: Which of these effects of jerk-like behavior do you see in your organization? Which have you experienced yourself?


• Distractions from tasks because of efforts to avoid encounters with the "jerk boss"

• Loss of motivation on the job

• Physical illness because of stress

• Frequent absenteeism

• Reduction in innovation

• Inability to attract top talent

• Increased disengagements


 Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan Evans (Love 'Em or Lose 'Em) describe a "jerk boss" as acting like or looking like:


• Intimidate

• Condescend or demean

• Withhold praise

• Slam doors, pound doors

• Behave rudely

• Belittle people in front of others

• Micromanage

• Manage up, not down

• Always look out for number one

• Give mostly negative feedback

• Yell at people

• Tell lies or "half-truths"

• Act above the rules

• Enjoy making people sweat

• Act as superior to or smarter than everyone else

• Show disrespect

• Act sexist

• Act bigoted

• Withhold critical information

• Use inappropriate humor

• Blow-up in meetings

• Start every sentence with "I"

• Steal credit or spotlight from others

• Block career moves (prevent promotions or hold onto "stars")

• Distrust most people

• Show favoritism

• Humiliate and embarrass others

• Criticize often (at a personal level)

• Overuse sarcasm

• Deliberately ignore or isolate some people

• Set impossible goals or deadlines

• Never accept blame, let others take the hit

• Undermine authority

• Show lack of caring for people

• Betray trust or confidences

• Gossip/spread rumors

• Act as if others are stupid

• When feeling down, take it out on others

• Use fear as a motivator

• Show revenge

• Interrupt constantly

• Make "bad-taste" remarks

• Fail to listen

• Lack patience

• Demand perfection

• "Break promises

• Second-guess constantly

• Have to always be in control

• Add your own observation or experience here


 So what do you do in case you have a "jerk boss" or you are yourself a "jerk boss"? See you next column.


(Moje is at and


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