INFOGRAPHIC: 11 Tips on How to Handle Your Crazy-Making Boss

| By Terence Brake

You know it’s true: People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.

Despite all the millions of bullet-pointed tips published in business books and journals, I’ve never met a perfect boss.  No matter how well we try, we all have human blind spots and quirks that make us . . . well, human.  Humans are crazy-making creatures, but some more than others.  The boss population, along with politicians and bankers, does little to alleviate the silent killer, i.e. hyper-tension. 

There are too many types of crazy-making boss to create a comprehensive list, but here are a few I’ve encountered:

  • The Flummoxed: never knows what’s going on or what to do
  • The Shapeshifter: is rarely, if ever, consistent
  • The Wanderer: has little sense of direction
  • The Narcissist: the vain, egotistical god or goddess
  • The Bully: uses power to intimidate others
  • The Volcano: likely to erupt at any time
  • The Nitpicker: the perfectionist who can’t let go of small stuff
  • The Python: who squeezes the life out of people
  • The Enigma: who wants you to guess what he or she is thinking
  • The Entertainer: if you haven’t seen any episodes of The Office (British or US version), you really, really should

I’m sure you can add more to this list.  Crazy-making bosses often have a complex mix of these characteristics, and so it is difficult to come up with strategies and tips that don’t oversimplify the challenge.  But why let a simple thing like oversimplification stop me (oops, I think I might be one of those crazy-making bosses).

I’ll present some of those often annoying and platitudinous tips below, but before I do here’s the essence – take responsibility for outcomes resulting from interactions with your crazy-maker boss.  Provide the structures and processes that your boss might not be able to; and if you are already saying, “That’s not my job!” the relationship is doomed.  Move on to greener pastures if you can find any.

How to Handle Your Crazy-Making Boss

A final word: crazy-making bosses can cause you to doubt yourself.  Stay strong and carry on!

To ensure you don't have an organization of crazy making bosses, contact us to discuss our leadership programs