March – 4 Types of Bad Bosses That Make Employees Want to Quit

I was struck by this LinkedIn article by Brigetta Hyacinth.*  Trying not to get political in this article, I have been surprised by the high level of turnover currently being experienced in the White House. According to both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, the rate is 34%. This was based on 21 of the 61 senior level positions. In my study of planning and development departments, I have suggested that any turnover higher than 10% per year is a sign that something is wrong that needs correcting. It certainly has a major impact on the productivity of the organization. Check yourself or your boss against Brigetta’s four points below.

1.    Marionette

These are managers who just play it safe to preserve their position and privileges. They just follow orders and don’t stand up for the team. In order to keep my FAICP active, I recently took an APA sponsored course on ethics that addressed how an AICP manager handled a development project where she and the City Manager did not see eye to eye. In this case, one could conclude that the “marionette” manager may have violated the AICP Code of Ethics.

2.    King Kong

Some bosses when they reach the top forget where they came from.  They have a superiority complex, talk down to employees, and draw a distinction between managers and staff. Who wants to work with this kind of a planning director?

3.    Superman

Makes decisions solo, thinks the organization revolves around him/her, thinks he/she is the smartest person in the room. I was struck once listening to a female planning director for Minneapolis who said she was not the brightest person in her department. “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” Andy Stanley

4.    Taskmaster

Micromanagers who only focus on the bottom-line. They kill creativity. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

How are you scoring on these four points? What is your turnover rate?

The Management Doctor

*See also her new book, The Future of Leadership: Rise of Automation, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. I haven’t read it yet, but my copy is in the mail.