A Heartfelt Thank You to the Jerks I have Worked For

Time to Read: 2 mins...   

We've all had them.  Great leaders that inspire us, stretch us, and help us achieve things we never thought we could.  And...we've had bosses who don't have a clue. They do things that make us slap our foreheads and go..."OMG."  You may be working for one of these jerks right now.

A Couple of Examples:

  • Like the one who said, critically: "You're doing too much leadership."  Still scratching my head trying to understand what she meant by that.  I asked and she didn't have an answer.


  • The ex-marine CEO whose top priority was to rappel down the elevator shafts of his office building to see if there were open spaces between floors that could be used for storage!!!

Early in my career it was common for my colleagues and me to complain and laugh at these absurdities.  But, after a while, I realized that the complaining was like a short-term sugar hit that just left us feeling worse a short while later.

What I Did:

I decided to turn things around and learn from these events. I said to myself, " I

may not know yet exactly what I should do, but when I get my shot at being the

boss, - I sure know what not to do!"

The Result:

This shift accelerated my on-going growth as a leader. I was able to learn and grow

into leadership by observing both the positive things the good bosses did and to

equally learn what not to do from the bad bosses.

Oh, and by the way, this new way of observing also allowed me to catch myself

and course correct when I made some bonehead move.

So - Thanks Jerks – little did you know that you made me a better leader.

Action Steps:

  • What have you learned from a bad boss?
  • How has it changed you as a leader?

​Tell me what you think – add your comments below.

Charles St.John

P.S. Want to see another strange example? Check out “Weirdest Memo Ever”

  • Valued Subscriber says:

    Nice work! I know people like the commander. How funny, and true! Thank you. Eric S.

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