Bully Bosses–You Know Who You Are


Since it is Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week (October 18-24, 2015), I thought I would blog about those obnoxious, sadistic bully bosses, who would use an elephant gun to shoot a mosquito.

Everyone deserves a safe, healthy workplace, and yet according to the Workplace Bullying Institute, a staggering 35% of the U.S. workforce (approximately 53.5 million Americans) report being bullied at work. And an additional 15% have witnessed workplace bullying, which means that 50% of all Americans have directly experienced bosses who bully.

Unlike schoolyard bullying, the workplace target is not bullied because they are small, weak, shy, or without friends to stand up to their perpetrator. Bully bosses target those who they perceive pose a threat to them. Bosses bully because they are insecure and lack self-confidence and self-esteem.

There is a common perception that bosses who bully see themselves as better than others. But this is a misnomer. Bully bosses target workers who are more successful or brighter than they are. For the most part, targets are more technically skilled than their boss bullies. The targets are more often than not, the seasoned professionals to whom other staff members turn to for guidance because they are patient, empathetic, better liked, and easier to approach.

Targets are likely to have more social skills, are kinder, are better respected, and are more helpful than their bully bosses. Targets are ethical and honest. And unlike their nasty bully bosses, they play by the rules and exhibit exceptional qualities, like a desire to assist, heal, teach, develop and nurture others.

Bully bosses thrive in small companies, which means that if you work for an organization with few employees, your probable only choice is to find another job.

Most bully bosses can’t stand to share credit for the recognition of talent and they often steal credit from skilled targets. Bully bosses abhor those diligent employees who are popular and bring warmth to the workplace. In summary, bully bosses don’t play well with others—just like in the schoolyard.

And how about those wimpy HR people who will confide to you (orally) that your bully boss is a jerk, but there’s nothing they can do about it. After all, it’s not against the law to be a jerk.

Yes, to put it mildly, bosses who bully are jerks. And make no mistake about it HR “experts,” bully bosses can wreak havoc on an organization, and severely hinder a company’s ability to generate a positive and innovative work environment.

Here’s what I’d like to say to all you bully bosses out there:

Your tactics of humiliating, shaming, and embarrassing your subordinates, serve only to expose YOU as the pitiful person you truly are—a coward, ignorant, repulsive, unlikable, and downright detestable.

The only person you embarrass, humiliate and shame is yourself.

4 thoughts on “Bully Bosses–You Know Who You Are

  1. Because I complained about my bully boss, I was bullied by his best friend on the team.
    He threw everything he possibly could at me. He did this under the Bully boss’s orders. No one would be a witness, they knew all too well what would happen.
    Complaints to HR were of no avail, and it was sent down to the bully boss to deal with.
    This left me with a double whammy, the complaint getting nowhere and the victimizing became more intense.
    Both bullies have since left the company.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Bradley, and I’m sorry you had to deal with not one, but two bullies. You’re lucky that both bullies left the company. The way it usually works is that the person being bullied has to leave.

  2. My bully bosses knew that I could see through them. Just this morning, I woke up from a nightmare that was really a scene similar to what happened to me in 1979. In a departmental meeting, he accused me of lying. I was in my mid-20’s and too insecure to speak up, so backed off in confusion. He was Director of the Cancer Center at a prominent medical school, and I was just a lowly paper pusher. To this day, I wished that I had straighten him out.

    1. I can’t stand bullies, Kathy. And as I’m sure you know, they come in all shapes and sizes. I also sat silent for way too many years. Now, I speak up no matter where or how I see a bully situation.

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