Bosses from Hell
Bad bosses make for good comedy, as movies like “The Devil Wears Prada” attest. But for workers and the companies that hire them, subpar superiors are no laughing matter.
According to Dr. Robert Hogan, poor managers – who range from incompetent to tyrannical – do more than make workers’ lives miserable. They also lose money. Research shows that ill-managed companies earn far fewer profits than well-managed ones, says Hogan, who is president of Hogan Assessment Systems, an international distributor of psychological assessments.
Worse, they cost people their health. Sixty-five percent to seventy-five percent of workers say the most stressful aspect of their job is their immediate supervisor, find studies by Hogan and others.
“So these guys aren’t just bad for business — they’re killing people,” Hogan asserts.
What’s to be done? Psychological researchers need to pinpoint the best leadership qualities and interventions. In the field, practitioners need to use good assessment tools, develop training programs and suggest hiring practices based on these interventions. Many people fall into management jobs based on seniority, hierarchy or technical ability rather than personality and talent. Good leadership must be nurtured, and “bad leaders need to be confronted with their flaws,” Hogan says.
From Monitor on Psychology May 2012