Who is a bad manager?

Do employees really leave because of bad managers?

Who qualifies as a bad manager in that case?

We tend to overuse the word “bad” here because we simply fall short of defining the inadequacies of a manager.

The word “bad” always has a negative connotation to it. Most employees attack the personality of a manager because that is easier. 

People often link the following attributes to a “Bad Manager”.

Takes credit for your work
Doesn’t empathize with you

The list goes on. Just notice one thing, these are all personality attributes that were made popular by TV shows like The Office, Dilbert comics, and Television Ads. 

But how come no one talks about managerial incompetence? Because that is boring. You can weave stories around “bad” managers but stories around incompetence don’t sell so well. 

There is a better word for “Bad” and that is inadequate managers. Following is the list of incompetencies.

Limited ability to plan
Limited ability to offer a constructive and situational feedback
Limited ability to develop subordinates
Limited ability to foster inclusivity 
Limited ability to influence 
Limited ability to listen

The list goes on. All the inadequacies impact the subordinate’s experience at work. 

Employees leave because of inadequate managers. And partly the reason is organizational inability to invest in grooming the managers who are inadequate. 

What do you think?


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