Four Ways You Can Tell If You’re The Boss Nobody Likes

Posted on August 8, 2011.

"Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.”   -Colin Powell   

It’s a mistake many managers make. In the process of trying to be everyone’s friend, they create enemies.

A friend of mine recently called for some advice about her boss, who we’ll call Nasty…er,Nancy.  My friend loves her job, loves her work, loves her co-workers, but hates Nancy. As we talked, it was clear Nancy’s management style provided a blueprint of what NOT to do as a manager. All the universal signs were there! Using those indicators as a guide, I created a quick quiz to help you recognize if you’re a Nancy.

Ask yourself the following questions (be honest!) and read on to see how you scored:

  • Does everyone agree with me all the time, even when I’ve said something absurd?

  • Are there furtive looks among the group and longer than normal pauses when I ask for feedback in a meeting?

  • Is my unplanned turnover higher than other areas of my firm or within my industry?

  • Do I really treat everyone the way they’d like to be treated?

If you answered affirmatively to any of the first three questions, you may want to take a good look at yourself. 

Colin Powell would probably agree that, while you can’t please all the people all the time, if you’re pleasing no one at anytime, there are some real issues that you need to address.

A team that does not respect or like their manager figures out pretty quickly how to work around that manager. This includes playing to their ego, asking questions they know the answers to, and agreeing with any of the boss’s ideas – including the bad. 

Still wondering if you’re a Nancy or have some of your own war stories to tell? Post your question to our Ask Cindy & Laura page, or put it to your peers in the Manage Fearlessly community at-large and hear what they have to say!