There are various styles that leaders use to drive growth. Some unfortunately are less intentional and fall into a bullying and “ASS Kicking” mode. So what are you to do if you find yourself reporting to an ASS Kicker?….believe it or not you must forgive them.
In business, ..Heck,.. in life ,you will encounter all types of people. Some will stand out as mentors for you .My first job, right out of college was a route salesman for Frito-Lay. I see now I was blessed to have worked for an amazing mentor named Harry Jones. He was ; firm fair and consistent. He owned his areas of responsibility. When I made mistakes (often back then) he took the pressure from above and used the mistake as a teaching moment.
Unfortunately I have experienced many leaders who lead by intimidation , bullying their teams and they frequently looked for : “What ASS to Kick” instead of the defining the nature of the problem that needs solved. They fail do the heavy lifting of finding market truths and they shoot from the hip and their gut.
I feel comfortable discussing “Ass Kickers” as regrettably this was my style early in my career. I drove my teams through intimidation. Sure I mentally justified my actions with thoughts like;
They will thank me some day ( none ever did)
It is the quickest route to the objective ( wrong, it often caused many other concerns)
People need to be driven ( no, they need to be led, and leadership is difficult )
They know what needs to be done and are just not “ motivated” “accountable” ( wrong, in most cases my communication was poor and the team lacked a clear understanding of the objective and they did not have the tools to win)
The solution to the problem at hand is the only consideration. ( little or no consideration for the relationship with those involved, win battle lose war)
With thoughts like above and others racing through their minds, leaders with a low emotional intelligence lead by “ASS Kicking”. Without a leadership filter that also considers the big picture, corporate values and the relationships with those involved they spew their kicking , throat choking rhetoric.
Sadly, this behavior has a common root: Fear.
As I discussed in my post : Are You Looking For “An ASS To Kick”…” Throat to Choke” or a Solution to a Problem?… (There is a difference) leaders who use a bully approach are very afraid. In their fear they become frustrated, anxious, and more fearful the challenges they face will somehow tarnish their reputation and or political power.
So what do you do if you work for an Ass Kicking Boss?…..FORGIVE THEM
“What? Are you nuts? This guy (gal) treats me like crap and I am supposed to just forgive them?” ….Yes!
I heard once; anger and resentment are like acids that only damage the vessel that contains them.
If you hold on to the anger, hurt, and so on you feel from your throat choker it will hurt you physically, professionally ,emotionally, and financially.
So forgive them. The first reason to do so is it is Biblical. Finding faith , the truths in the Bible is what taught me the errors of my ways and empowers me to serve my teams today.Second , you must release the anger festering inside . ( I promise you your ASS Kicker has already forgotten what they said to you) Third, your inner anger and frustration , if left unchecked ,will bleed into your relationships with customers, and more important your loved ones.
“ASS Kickers” are not dumb people. Chances are they busted their ( you know what’s) back in the day, earned their bones on a daily basis. They are not happy people. My recommendation is to gather raw unfiltered data as fast as possible and present that data and ask them what they would do. You may need to also make sure, once you see the data , that you truly are doing the best job you could be doing. If not , admit it and commit to improve.
If you take my advice, gather data ( facts without judgments) see how the leader reacts….
If they roll up their sleeves and offer to help, hang in there.
If they blow up again, and actually make the problem worse…leave.
Good value adding employees do not need to put up with an abusive boss.
You are not trapped in this job.
You are not a slave, owned by this employer.
Yes it is frightening when you mentally commit to leave, however you will also gain peace as you can tolerate the abusive boss while you know there is light ahead ….and it’s not a train.
There are many people who have written about abusive/ bad bosses and below are some links if you want to hear other’s views;
What To Do When Your Boss Is A Jerk
If Your Boss is a Jerk, Don’t be a Willing Victim
When you work for a Bully
How to Handle a Bullying Boss
How to Deal With Bully Bosses
Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss
Bad Boss-Health This Week with Don Baillargeon ( you tube)
Fox News – Dealing with a Bad Boss – Joe Takash ( you tube)
So if you work for an ASS Kicking boss…forgive them and remember you are in control of how you feel.
You can choose to become angry and bitter and lose yourself in self-pity, or you can choose to forgive them and release that internal acid.
You are in control as you can also leave and add value somewhere else.
I Attended an awesome seminar years ago by the Covey institute and I think it was called the Power Principle. simply stated;
“you are not free to stay….until you are free to walk away”