A few years ago a movie came out entitled, “Horrible Bosses”. It is a raunchy comedy depicting people who are in positions of authority that abused the role and brought out the worst in their employees. I certainly am not telling you to watch the movie but more importantly I am hoping you don’t earn the label of a horrible boss. Here are five signs of a horrible boss:

1. Horrible bosses are indecisive. No one likes a boss that can’t make up his mind. the Bible says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Make sure you are clear on a situation and all of its details before you attempt to make a decision. Seek wise counsel and do your best to not change a decision once it has been made, unless it was the wrong decision.

2. Horrible bosses show favoritism. A teacher once told me how the principal at her school hangs out after hours with a group of teachers and it is obvious she is much more lenient with these folks. As a result of favoritism, leaders earn a reputation of being unfair or even discriminatory. Every leader has workers that are easier to work with than others. It is important the leader seeks to be fair and patient with every worker. Spread time around with your team and ask someone to hold you accountable when interacting with those you know are “favorites”.

3. Horrible bosses are flirtatious. This one seems self-explanatory except it is not. Many of the leaders I work with get in trouble because of compliments and side comments. Though most people know the difference between a compliment and something more, some do not. I have a standard that I only give compliments publicly and never frequently. Always err on the side of caution and “flee the very appearance of evil”. Additionally, if you are a boss and someone comes to you with a complaint about a worker or even church member, address it immediately.

4. Horrible bosses are micromanagers. Micromanagement typically manifests as someone looking over another’s shoulder or going behind them checking their work. You hired the people and unless they are underperforming , allow them to do the job. The leader who has to have input on everything is micromanaging. A good leader will take interest in everything but doesn’t have to offer input on everything.

5. Horrible bosses are secretive. As a leader you should always use discretion and honor privacy. However,  when you have secret meetings (meetings about people who are not present or meetings that sidestep a process or policy), conversations that are critical of people instead of constructive, or you withhold information that should be shared, you are creating an atmosphere of suspicion. You undermine the team concept if people do not trust each other. Be open and honest with your team and create opportunities where feedback is welcomed and opinions are given without repercussion.

The good news is that each of these red flags can be addressed and corrected. You are a leader for a reason. God has placed you in position for a purpose. Make sure none of the signs listed above derail what God is doing in your life. Let me know how I can help you or your team,

Anthony Cobbs
Breakthrough Ministry Consulting