“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” – Steve Jobs

Recently, I published two articles regarding corporate management strategies, and the impact they have on a company’s effectiveness. The first article titled, “7 Management Traits that Will Make All Your Employees Quit,” addressed how poor management can lead to a high employee turnover rate. In this article, I told the story about how a bad manager I had in the past caused all the employees to quit and led to the shutdown of a regional office. In the second article titled, “7 Traits of Great Leaders,” I discussed the flip side of the equation on how good management encourages employee retention, increases productivity, and promote innovation. The response I got from readers was tremendous. The articles inspired a very fruitful conversation surrounding the qualities between effective leaders vs failing managers.

People do not quit companies, they quit their managers.

I heard this comment over and over again from readers. People chimed in from all of the world regarding their personal experiences with a bad manager. It was interesting to hear the stories on bad management. Clearly, bad management is an epidemic in the corporate world. Companies need to invest in mentoring their managers; and, giving them the training they need to be a leader and not just a boss. Consider these fundamental character differences between leadership vs management.

I also heard many stories from readers that have been inspired by having a great leader in their career. A positive experience with a leader creates tremendous loyalty to their company, and inspires people to do their best. The impact a great leader has on their employees sticks with them for their entire career.

Bad managers can leave emotional scars on people for many years. However, there is also a lot that can learned from them. Bad managers teach people what not to do once they get into a management position.

In late 2013, Gallup released the results of their two year long study regarding the state of the American worker. Part of the study involved polling 1 million employed U.S. workers from all over the USA. The data from the survey confirmed that the No. 1 reason people quit their job is due to bad management. Another of the findings from Gallup, is that the productivity of poorly managed employees is 50 percent less than well managed. Additionally, well managed employees are 56 percent more profitable than poorly managed. Clearly, bad managers can cause a substantial negative hit to the company bottom line. Poor management also leads to low employee morale, causes employees added stress that can sometimes lead to serious health issues, decreases productivity, and leads to high turnover. Great leadership promotes a company culture that is rich in innovation which increases the company bottom line and helps create a sustainable business model.

Of the approximately 100 million people in America who hold full-time jobs, 30 million (30%) are engaged and inspired at work, so we can assume they have a great boss. At the other end of the spectrum are roughly 20 million (20%) employees who are actively disengaged. These employees, who have bosses from hell that make them miserable, roam the halls spreading discontent. Gallup CEO Jim Clifton

I love this quote from Gallup’s CEO! However, when I was dealing with a bad boss, I not only roamed the halls at work spreading discontent, I was spreading discontent everywhere I went. In my case the bad situation at work began negatively affecting me in all areas of my life.

The Bottom Line:

Great leaders inspire people and make the company money and bad leaders tear down people and the company, piece by piece. Companies need to be able to recognize the signs of bad management. Then take action to either improve the manager’s skills, or find someone else that would be a better fit for the role. What has been your experience with a great leader or a bad manager? Were you inspired by the great leader? Did a bad manager teach you “what not to do?”