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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where There's One Bad Apple ...

An article entitled "Why Your Horrible Boss Still Has a Job" was posted this week on LinkedIn by Executive Coach Lisa Tesvich, Ph.D. It addresses several reasons why bad bosses stay in their positions. The article covers a range of rationales explaining why business leaders higher up in the corporate structure may decide to keep a bad boss in a position of authority or fail to reprimand the bad behavior.

As those who have read "Don't Run Naked Through The Office" know, it doesn't matter why a bad boss does what a bad boss does. There's little or nothing the employees who have to tolerate that situation can do about it. And, let me now add, it doesn't matter why the bad boss's boss keeps the bad boss in a position of authority! The point is the entire environment is tainted by the bad boss's behavior and tolerance of that behavior by those with the responsibility to do something about it.

All the employees who serve under the bad boss can do is depart if they are in a position to do so and hope they can find a more supportive environment or adapt to the environment in which they currently find themselves. Keep in mind that 70% of workers are disengaged with their jobs most likely due to the high number of companies that tolerate non-supportive workplace environments. That means that finding a supportive work environment in the current business climate is around a one-in-four proposition, not exceptionally good odds especially for those not tuned to recognize the four types of workplace environments.

Business leaders who tolerate a boss behaving badly obviously have their own unresolved issues and most likely tolerate other equally egregious situations that negatively impact the type of environment all workers in the organization experience. It's certainly not a new phenomenon as indicated by the well-worn phrase "one bad apple ..." except where one bad apple in the proverbial basket is blamed for spoiling its peers, in this case, the string of spoilage runs up the ladder of authority driving the entire environment toward increasing levels of toxicity!

Your thoughts on this current and important topic are welcome!

Fred Stawitz
Coauthor of Don't Run Naked Through The Office

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