This is a question that has bugged your correspondent for many decades because many of his bosses at at his companies where he has worked, with a few exceptions, have been bad ones.
Most of the bad ones have been liars, abusive, stupid, greedy, self-centred egoists, uninterested in clients except as sources of profit, etc, etc… They seldom have taken any interest in developing business and are only satisfied is using others for their own ends.
When you add on other attributes like sexist, racist, paranoid, and nepotists, you start to think of Trump and Berlusconi. Adding another layer of attributes, like murderer and torturer, you come up with a few other names on that list of “Great Leaders”.
So here we are at the office and in the countries where we live having, at least one or two Bad Leaders at the top… what should we think and do in such a situation?
In the first place, it should be plainly obvious that you can never build up any trust with them no matter how hard you try. Trump has never understood this with Putin or Kim, even though he expresses love and respect for both of them.
Another important point is that you can never get rid of them. At the office, one dummy follows another… and if you try to get rid of the likes of Castro or Hussein, another despot jumps into the empty throne within two minutes…
Democracy seldom follows on the steps of despots and good bosses seldom follow bad ones…
Again Trump and many former leaders of the western world have never understood this. Their greed for oil resources and other raw materials in colonies and other foreign lands have always ended up with hundreds of thousands of dead soldiers, civilians and small children. The money wasted on the costs of hopeless wars could have been put to better use – like, for example, educating people to become president!
The best advise is to avoid a bad boss as much as possible, and only meet them in low profile, serious meetings where you can secretly record the discussion on your smart phone! Bad bosses never want to write anything on paper or get caught with defaming emails. A voice record is worth its weight in gold at crunch time… Politicians are always recording every meeting and telephone conversation, as do banks and big companies with customers and suppliers.
Letting bad bosses do all the talking is also another great way to use the time at the obligatory meetings. Bad bosses never listen anyway, and if you say nothing you cannot be held responsible for broken promises… Bad bosses always appear to want big improvements in performance – but beware, they never come fast, and if they do, then there is something to be suspicious about!
Another way to reduce joint time with bad bosses is to find, actively and discreetly, ways to reduce dependency. At the office, there are always ways to move to a new department or country if your current boss takes all the credit for success and blames you for all the failures. Finally remember that you should only give them what you want to give away. In most cases that will be your resignation when you have found a nice job elsewhere. That way both of you will be happy, or at least you will.
As far as bad leaders are concerned the same rules apply about reducing dependency. Examples could be that the Germans should reduce its dependence on Russian energy, and Europe should seek to reduce its dependence on US trade with the current leadership there!
In the world of politics, one can only hope that our leaders are infinitely better behaved than Trump. Applying the above rules means that our leaders should keep an open serious low key dialogue with them with their smart phone hidden away in their pocket or in the wall of their meeting room.
There is absolutely nothing to be gained in flying all the way to Washington for a meeting and holding hands in front of the cameramen and expressing gratuitous words of affection. It is much better to invite them over for a quite cup of tea at the palace…
Photo: CC0 1.0