How much does rudeness cost you?

Bad bosses are a reflection of bad management. These individuals are bad leaders and bad for profit. Inept managers cascade down the organization and negatively affect the bottom line.


A recent report by Florida State University revealed the impact of bad bosses. A survey of more than 700 employees at different job levels and situated in various industries suggested that:

  • 39% of bad bosses failed to keep their word
  • 27% of bad bosses insulted those they supervise behind their backs
  • 23% of bad bosses blamed their mistakes on others
  • 31% of bad bosses used the silent treatment to show their displeasure

By looking at each of these findings, the business management of any organization can begin to see specifically the drain on the bottom line when leadership ethics are not internalized by all employees.

Failure to keep your word is a values or ethics issue that affects performance. When employees receive promises or verbal contracts from their bosses and then these contracts are broken, morale suffers and so does the outcomes from the employees. No training is going to improve motivation when the employees know that nothing is going to change when the bad bosses are still in charge.

Insulting fellow employees again is a values or ethics issue. Gossiping about employees to other employees again builds a culture of distrust not of high performance. This type of behavior also affects overall productivity and potentially create a very fearful political culture where what looks good take precedence what really works.

Not accepting responsibility for mistakes is a personal accountability issue and must start with management. Blaming employees for management’s failure again creates a negative work environment. This is still an issue of values.

Silent treatment as punishment used by bad bosses to communicate their displeasures tells more about individual values and beliefs than that of the alleged performance of employees. With communication being one of the greatest obstacles to a high performance culture, the silent treatment creates just the opposite effect.

When management allows bad bosses to be bad leaders (meaning not leading by positive example), then bad profits will be the only result. To reverse this trend of bad bosses requires revisiting the strategic plan. Next, all management must embrace personal accountability through the corporate values’ statement. Finally, these values become the guide for daily actions between bosses and their employees.

What kind of leadership ethics are being demonstrated in your business?

Do you have a business management that will grow your future leaders?

Author: Leanne Hoagland-Smith, an executive coach and consultant for over 30 years