Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Actually, Most Bosses Are Idiots

My dislike of authority or bosses is certainly no secret.  People may chalk this up to my personality, my independence, or my ego.  But my personal eccentricities that makes W4 work impossible aside, the majority of people do not like having a boss.  Additionally, the majority of people think their bosses are idiots and they could do a better job. 

"Wisdom" and experience merely writes this off as  ego, or the pride of the employee.  Sure, all bosses are "idiots" and all of them "suck."  Now why don't you suck it up and get your ass back to work like the rest of us.  But something got me thinking about bosses, as well as the nature of companies.  The vast majority of them fail.  And very few last more than 100 years.  Meaning, matter of fact, by statistical reality...yes...

most bosses do suck, are idiots, and the employees are very likely right.

After wracking my brain to come up with a formula to calculate what percent of companies fail, and thus, what percent of bosses are incompetent idiots, I realized this was an impossible task because of the nature of businesses.

8 out of 10 businesses fail in 18 months. But those are start ups and not established companies with thousands of middle management bosses.

Also, those entrepreneurs/bosses may start multiple companies.

What if the company doesn't go belly up, but grows?  Vindication of good bosses, but then it's bought out and management is cut to save overhead.

Do we include bosses in mergers?  How do we track them?  They could have helped the company grow, but lack the foresight to avoid getting laid off (as they train in their replacements).

The truth is there is no way to nail it down to a single digital percentage, but in just looking at how few companies actually survive long term, as well as the short term failure rate, the mathematical reality is the VAST majority of bosses are incompetent oafs who really don't know what they're doing.  From outright idiotic business moves elucidated in "Restaurant Impossible," to the daily chronicling of Scott Adam's Dilbert, to the bailing out of companies that couldn't see the housing bubble coming, as a whole corporate America and your average employer are freaking morons that usually end up stealing money from their creditors (and sometimes taxpayers).  But what's worse is the mental torture they wreak on their employees.  Employees who have simple, basic common sense, know precisely what's wrong with the company, but are either disciplined or just outright terminated if they dare to point out the failings of their supervisors or, worse, can't simply live the lies their bosses want them to.

In the end having very average, if not, inferior people promoted based on conformance, compliance and ass kissing spells inevitable doom to the majority of employers.  They are not only incapable of management or leadership, but are also incapable of identifying opportunities that would result in a successful company, not to mention threats that immediately threaten its survival.  This is why nearly every company you or I have worked for is no longer in business and if you were to look up your bosses, they too have likely been fired, "let go," or are now working for a completely new employer.

But don't worry, they're actively working on bankrupting that company too.

9 comments:

August said...

I'm guessing the ones who are smart and ambitious end up going the consulting route.
If the idiots are scared enough to hire an expensive consultant, then they will also give the consultant enough authority to get things done.
Unfortunately, sociopaths know this too, and a lot of consultants play that game of coming to tell management exactly what they want to hear. If they do anything positive, it is only to keep things going on long enough for their check to clear.

Tucanae Services said...

I would suggest 2 classes of bosses -- founders, managers.

Founders as bosses generally know their stuff as they identified the opportunity and tackled it. Founders generally fail in realms other than the core competency.

Manager, those of the 'professional' tiddler class on the other hand care more about ratios rather than core fundamentals.

Gates was a founder. Ballmer was a Manager. The difference was like night an day for Microsoft.

Bob Wallace said...

I've had exactly one good boss. The rest were morons. Workers do the work and bosses usually get in the way.

Anonymous said...

http://www.amazon.com/Revised-Expanded-Idiots-Insanity-Incompetency/dp/160163191X

Anonymous said...

Part of the game of hiring consultants is having an outsider as scapegoat if anything goes wrong.

liberranter said...

From outright idiotic business moves elucidated in "Restaurant Impossible," to the daily chronicling of Scott Adam's Dilbert, to the bailing out of companies that couldn't see the housing bubble coming, as a whole corporate America and your average employer are freaking morons that usually end up stealing money from their creditors (and sometimes taxpayers).

Exactly. Corporate America today, far from being a magnet for true talent, for individuals with genuinely innovative ideas that could actually make a business grow and succeed, is an environment that caters to the lowest common denominator. By its very nature, a corporate environment is one of regimentation, hierarchy, rules, politics, and pecking order - all factors that repel the best and brightest, or extinguish the fire and the desire in those who for whatever reason choose to remain part of it (or who by circumstances are forced to remain part of it). This is why Scott Adams, to cite just one prominent example, will NEVER run out of material for Dilbert. Indeed, four or five other cartoonists could start strips with the same theme and never run out of material.


Bob Wallace said:

I've had exactly one good boss. The rest were morons. Workers do the work and bosses usually get in the way

Ditto for me. The one good boss I actually had in my last 17 years of experience with the corporate world was not only an excellent manager, but a LEADER who knew how to take care of his team, how to best leverage their talents, how to market the company's products and services to new clients, and how to grow and attract new talent.

Needless to say, he didn't last very long at the firm where we worked together. The politicos in the C-Suite couldn't stand to see a man with more talent and common sense in his fingernail clippings than they had in their entire bodies do great things. He's worked for four other companies in the last six years since he was my boss and has probably encountered the same nonsense at all of them. He really needs to start his own consulting firm where he could do the most good for the most people, both customers and any employees he would eventually hire. Existing corporations clearly don't deserve his talents.

Oh, and the company he and I worked for together? They're currently in the middle of Chapter 11 proceedings.

Bob said...

Apparently there were four kinds of officers in the German Army, divided basically along their intelligence and eagerness to work.

The Staff Officers were smart and eager. They churned through tasks like nobody's business, and you didn't need to look over their shoulders as they did so. They're ideal middle management.

The Generals were smart and lazy. They got things done the simplest way they could find while minimizing casualties and variables, because to do so any other way would be too much work. For all the minutia, they trusted their staff officers to get the jobs done right.

The worthless were dumb and lazy. They contributed absolutely nothing to the war effort, but they didn't exactly hinder it, either. They were absolute wastes of space usually demoted fairly quickly to cannon fodder.

The Dangerous were dumb and eager. They took on tasks they had no possible way to do, micromanaged their subordinates, screwed up every project they touched, and instituted meaningless policies to boost their egos. Many of these officers, when properly identified, were executed and/or sent to the Russian front.

It makes sense to think of all managers the same way. Smart lazy managers tend to become effective entrepreneurs or upper management, while smart eager managers make life easier for their bosses and subordinates. Dumb lazy end up on welfare, and dumb eager make smart guys like Aaron swear off corporate work altogether.

Anonymous said...

And most "administrators" are inept at administration.

Some Random Dumbass said...

Not all bosses are like that. You just needed to pick your bosses carefully.