Horrible Bosses: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

Intolerable bosses grind us down and even though you may devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid yourself of your horrible boss (not literally), there is always “Hope for Change.” Whilst this is not a prequel for the promotion of the next Horrible Bosses movie, it is a sequel to your life and your situation with your boss. We all have bosses, we all have pressures, however there is “no” excuse for poor boss behaviour and there is always a way to achieve better outcomes for all players. Dealing with a bad boss is never easy, you need to remember though that you can learn a lot from the experience. Then, you can move forward in your career – and that’s worth the misery of a bad boss.

“Breathe, keep Calm and Read on” Anonymous

Why do you hate your Boss?

Words are powerful, perhaps let’s say you dislike your boss—maybe a lot! Natalia Raben outlined in her May 2019 article “What to do if you hate your boss (but can’t quit yet)” as a pretty common complaint! Some are lucky and are managed by qualified and professional people, while others need to deal with unbearable supervisors. If you hate your boss, what should you do? Quit your job? Confront your boss? Or simply keep your head down?  Have you given deeper thought to why you hate your boss? Is it him/her being annoying, rude or too demanding? Or is it perhaps you who simply doesn’t like being told what to do? The first step to improve a situation is to figure out where the problem is. Did you also dislike your previous bosses? Or is it the first time this is happening? How do your colleagues find your manager? Do they also find him or her unpleasant to work with? Each manager has a different collection of characteristics. However, all bad bosses share a few, or at least one of these traits:

  • A micromanager
  • Negative
  • Absent
  • Doesn’t care about employees
  • Poor communicator
  • Unrealistic

What to do when you hate your boss

A well-read article “Managing Your Boss” byJohn J. Gabarro and John P. Kotter in a January 2005 Issue of HBR, indicates that to many people, the phrase “managing your boss” may sound unusual or suspicious. Because of the traditional top-down emphasis in most organizations, it is not obvious why you need to manage relationships upward—unless, of course, you would do so for personal or political reasons. We are using the term to mean the process of consciously working with your superior to obtain the best possible results for you, your boss, and the company.

And, use your COURAGE to deal with this

In my blog Courage under a Bad Boss, I acknowledge that not every boss is a good boss. Maybe you’ve never been considered for a promotion, because you’re not one of the boss’s ‘favourite’ employees. Or perhaps they often give you ‘urgent’ work just before the end of the day. No matter what they do, bosses like these can drive us crazy. Bad bosses make us miserable; dealing with their behaviours every day is exhausting. And, people leave companies because of bosses! If you’re dealing with a bad boss consider the following:

  • Learn Not To Jump Ship Straight Away
  • Learn How To Deal With Others’ Emotions and Controlling Your Own Reactions
  • Learn How To Be A Better Boss
  • Find The Positives In Any Situation

Your time with your bad boss will come to an end, so take the time to make sure your next move is a great one!

Leadership isn’t easy and sometimes we need help. I am always here.

Get in touch today to learn more about how to build leadership skills that focus on better outcomes with your boss and set yourself up for success!

Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.

Sonia x

About The Author Sonia McDonald And LeadershipHQ

Sonia McDonald is the CEO and founder of LeadershipHQ and McDonald Inc. Sonia is a in demand keynote speaker, leadership coach and advisor, author and facilitator.

She believes we should lead with kindness and courage, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others. Also she and her team have worked and partnered with a number of businesses and companies for over a decade build great leadership teams and cultures.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of Human Resources, Leadership and People and Culture. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author of Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow, advocating for women in business as well as building leaders in small business.

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

Phone 1300 719 665



About LeadershipHQ

Outstanding Leadership Starts With You.

The key to success today is Great Leadership. Your leaders lead your culture and it’s the culture which drives your strategy.

We partner with organisations and businesses to grow great, kind and courageous leaders through bespoke leadership development programs and individual and group coaching – face-to-face and online.

We also celebrate and showcase great leadership through our Outstanding Leadership Awards and the Just Lead Podcast.

If you are a great leader or organisation, who wants to be even greater, we’d love to work with you.

Great Leadership begins with us.