Sunday, March 05, 2006

Monster's Toxic Boss Contest

Monster is running a 'Toxic Boss Contest' between February 27th and March 31st, and there are already 30 pages of responses.

What does this tell us? That people just seem to be waiting to for an opportunity to vent their frustrations about their bosses.

In some ways, it is extremely disappointing that the top people in the 'leadership' field - such as Tom Peters and Stephen Covey - completely ignore this crucial issue. All the things they talk about - such as wowing customers, being radically innovative and so on, cannot be possible under our current system which produces bad bosses.

As I've mentioned in my manifesto, 'leadership' is a sexy word. And we've been so well trained to not talk about bad bosses, that we prefer to ignore the issue altogether even though it gnaws away at people's insides.

The tragedy is that the people with the most influence in the leadership field don't talk about it either. Perhaps the reason is that almost everyone is told to have a 'tough it out' attitude, and even top people have been well trained from an early age to do this. Hence, they would rather talk about big things like leadership, than apparently wimpy things like bad bosses.

In fact, one person who read my manifesto told me that he almost didn't read it because of the title - he thought, "Oh, not another rant on bosses". He said that if the manifesto was on leadership, he would have read it without a second thought. I suspect he's not the only one with this attitude - that anything to do with bosses is a rant, and therefore useless.

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