In fact, we’ve probably all had them. You know, the ones who most likely worked hard to get where they are, who are often very good at their jobs — and yet, the management skills just aren’t there.
Because, not every person who deserves a promotion necessarily comes equipped with leadership know-how; "boss" and "leader" aren't always synonymous. A boss just occupies a certain place on an org chart. But, a leader is someone who inspires, someone who is first in line when there’s a tough job to be done and, often, the last to raise her hand when the credit is doled out. She has a clear vision and can articulate it passionately and persuasively. And of course, she's courageous and talented in equal measure. A tall order, no doubt.
At this point, you’re probably thinking, 'What does this girl know about being a boss? She’s no Marissa Mayer or Sophia Amoruso.' And, you're right. But, after doing a bit of field research (over cocktails with friends), I've come to the entirely anecdotal realization that many bad bosses share some similar characteristics.
Recently, I found my father’s lecture notes from his “Ethics in Leadership” course at NYU's Stern School of Business. Reading through these transported me back to my days starting out in advertising and publishing, right after college, sitting at the dinner table and listening to his advice.
My dad spent so much of his career leading that he hadn’t given much thought to what the principles of leadership were. He related his job to that of a ship’s captain who, when he’s sailing through a storm, doesn’t think about what it means to be a good captain — he just focuses on keeping his ship above the water and off the rocks.
But, not every entry-level job comes with a captain like that. We all know that bad bosses are out there. Be wary of them, and at the same time, remember that you can learn something from them, even when they're not giving you the support and mentorship that you need. Up ahead, the nine most important life lessons you can take away from a truly terrible boss.