18 Benefits of a Bad Boss

by Karl Rohde — Get free updates of new posts here. Photo Credit: Karl Rohde

Sufferance under a bad boss is grim. It can destroy your mojo! It can affect your health, your ability to perform and your ability to be present around the people that matter in your life. While I don't want to focus on a negative topic the fact is that bad bosses do exist. Despite the crucible of bad management I thought there must be some good in it. If you are to endure and rock at work then there has to be a positive spin to keep you sane while you weigh up your options and choose a response. So here they are.

How a Bad Boss Can Be Surprisingly Good For You

  1. It forces you to own outcomes. Often you need to step up your game to get things done.
  2. It makes you more accountable to yourself. You have to motivate yourself, lead yourself, direct outcomes.
  3. It forces you to make a stand. Otherwise you die on the inside. It makes you fight for your place in your business.
  4. It increases your self awareness; makes you question yourself and everything at work.
  5. It sharpens your senses about the true nature of power and its often toxic effect on those not worthy to have it.
  6. It provides you with an opportunity to test your mettle and true character; It develops backbone and moral fiber.
  7. It makes you realize you are more capable than you think you are, especially when you have to step up your game and lead.
  8. It gives you a taste of business politics and an opportunity to dabble in it.
  9. It separates the strong from the weak. (a bad boss is a weak person).
  10. It helps you differentiate what is really important for you and your career.
  11. It provides an opportunity to improve your communication. You can no longer rely on the ease that comes with a good boss. You have to be shrewd and think before you speak. Everything you say needs to be wrapped in soundness of mind.
  12. It presents an opportunity to develop empathy (and emotional intelligence) with your peers.
  13. It provides you an opportunity to be a leader. Behave like the boss you would like to have and you may just end up being the boss.
  14. It provides an opportunity to get to know yourself a bit better. It teaches self-control, patience and long-suffering.
  15. It teaches you how to deal with more senior positions where power struggles get ugly.
  16. It teaches you to be humble (and humility is an awesome quality that people respect).
  17. It teaches you how not to manage your ego.
  18. It gives you a chance to inspire a higher standard of behaviour in your team. You can be the person your peers want to be.

I am not suggesting a bad boss is easy to endure. It can be suffocating; soul destroying. The thing is that you need to galvanize your mind and come out of it strong, not crushed, if you are going to get a positive outcome where you are at or even a better job somewhere else. Have a think about it and check with yourself where the benefits are.

I recall the advice, from Tony Robbins, when we are faced with unwanted situations: First, ask yourself what is good about this right now and secondly what can I learn from this?

Just maybe with a little thought you will see that there is a silver lining in having a bad boss as it forces you to up your career game, putting you ahead of the competition.

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PS: this post got a mention on Forbes.com in this gripping read: The Worst Bosses Might Actually Be Good For Your Career.