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How to Spot a Selfish Boss

How to Spot a Selfish Boss

Nealeigh Mitchell | HRPeople

April 30, 2010

If you’ve ever worked in an office environment — and as an HR professional you probably have — you’ve probably dealt with some kind of bad boss. Micromanagers, control freaks, and selfish tyrants ruin lives at all levels of organizations, their destructive powers wreaking havoc in on their subordinates.

In fact, employee-employer relations are major stressors for even the savviest HR professionals. According to a Gallup poll, supervisor problems surpass are among the biggest causes of worker dissatisfaction, right up there with concerns about salary, hours, and job duties.

Don’t let a lousy boss kick you off the career ladder. And shine at your calling by using your HR powers to stop someone else’s toxic boss in his tracks. Avoid costly consequences by recognizing ways a self-centered boss keeps her subordinates in check.

Clips Your Wings

Selfish bosses are incredibly sensitive to younger and brighter protégés coming up behind them. Overeager beavers rarely win a battle with the boss — especially if it’s over sharing the spotlight. So if you find yourself staying late at the office but left out of important meetings, request a chat. That promotion you’ve been waiting for may never come.

Steals Your Work

Self-centered bosses hate getting eclipsed by their underlings so they hog the glory by taking credit for your work. Sure, your job is to be creative, get the work done, and generate fresh ideas. You’re also there to make your boss look good. But if you’ve single-handedly saved a project — or four — and still need a nametag, there’s a thief in the ranks.

Feeds You to Wolves

You relish being the boss’ right-hand helper but unfortunately, there’s an ugly underbelly — you’re always doing the dirty work. Always running layoffs or burying your head in every spreadsheet should never be your problem. Shoulder the responsibility only if it’s a balanced load. You’re there to support your boss, not be her whipping girl.

Leaves You in the Lurch

You’ve proved yourself and finally get to spearhead a major project. Only your boss gave you half of the vital information and an impossible deadline. Plus, your team isn’t qualified to get the job done. Why would she sabotage her own crew? She might be throwing you under the bus to keep you in your place.

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