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When thinking about a bad boss, one can imagine a tyrant, loud, aggressive, abusive executive. A cliché.
The true bad boss is much more subtle. They do not have to yell, they do not have to push around. They just need to suck out the energy from their team. Dampen enthusiasm. Ridicule ideas.
Bad bosses are people seeking power for all the wrong reasons: instead of using it as a tool to lift and enforce the team, they use it for their own gain. Too look smart, to feel important.
The true cost of a bad boss is the long-term productivity loss. It doesn’t look dramatic at first, but once set in, the poison of demotivation and resignation is extremely hard to get rid off.