Is It Time to Fire Your Boss?

Do you have a boss that’s never present—a vacant chair (physically and metaphorically) that’s unavailable to answer questions, share advice, and doesn’t pick up their phone when it rings? Or, possibly worse, do you have a boss that’s always present—unnecessarily inserting themselves in situations, breathing down your neck, and never empowering team members to discover success on their own?

Last week we introduced media guru Tom Giersimczuk’s novel adage “would you hire your own boss?” The answer is (unfortunately) not always yes, and it could be for a number of reasons. We do a lot of interviewing and we hear about a number of Horrible Bosses.  In this second blog series, we’ve combined Tom’s insights with some of our own to share 10 signs that you should consider firing your boss:

  1. Ursula Un-Present

Do you walk by your boss’s office ten times a day trying to catch them between meetings to get approval on a project? Do they blow off your weekly check-ins week after week? Do you send emails with no response? “Ursula – you’re fired.”

  1. Peter Platitudes

Does your boss act like there is an “I” in team? Do they take credit for your work, undervalue your contributions or steal your opportunities to lead projects? “Pack your things, Peter.”

  1. Stacy Status-Quo

You know that leader that is either not physically or mentally present? While they are hanging out keeping a seat warm, you struggle to push through new initiatives. Their go to answer is “this is how we have always done it” which can be extremely frustrating.  “We’re terminating your position, Stacy.”

  1. Alex Always-Working

Do you receive calls from your boss before your morning Nepresso? Or does your boss send through last-minute requests when you are cuddled up with a glass of wine watching Grey’s Anatomy? Is there no balance and no limitations between 9-5 and the rest of your life? “We’re downsizing Alex.”

  1. Nicole No-Follow-Through

“This is a great initiative, let’s launch it by end of quarter!”… “Not a problem, I will talk with my manager and secure the extra budget.” We have all heard it. Big promises. No follow through. “Nicole – I’ll check in with you in a few weeks – btw, you’re fired.”

  1. Frankie No-Feedback

Completed a project and you’re still not sure if it was flop or an A+? Wrote a blog for the company, spoke at a conference, or finished a campaign—with not a peep. “Frankie, hopefully this doesn’t come as a surprise, but we’re going to allow you to pursue other career opportunities at this time.”

  1. Theodore Throw-You-Under-The-Bus

Didn’t do something wrong but feel awfully guilty for it anyways? If your name has been volunteered for something you didn’t do (or didn’t want to do), you’ve worked with Theodore before. “Theo, the tribe has spoken and the (working) relationship is over.”

  1. Nolan Never-Wrong

Have you ever yelled at a wall before? Then you know what it’s like trying to communicate with this boss. Always right, constantly argumentative, and needs to end every last conversation. “Nolan, the door’s that way. Nolan, I meant the FRONT door – you’re fired!”

  1. Keegan Keep-Your-Opinions-To-Yourself

What’s worse than never being wrong? Not hearing anyone out. Are you given the stink eye when you speak up at meetings? Are your ideas never taken into consideration or implemented? “Keegan, we’re re-tooling our leadership team– and you’re not a part of it. And Keegan, keep it to yourself. ”

10. Pat Passive-Aggressive

Crazy maker? Sugar-coated hostility? Double-Entendres? Blaming? Denial? Guilting? Sarcasm? Back-Stabbing? “Pat, you’ve done fairly well for someone with your skills, but unfortunately we no longer need THOSE skills.  Kidding. Not Kidding.”

If you don’t have a boss you would hire, then it’s time you become one that others would hire. If you wouldn’t want to extend a job offer to your boss, then go after their job, Tom advises. Either that, or break off and create a disruptor business. The competitive market will ensure that only the fittest companies—those with great bosses—will survive.


Photo from here.