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Do you have to be mean to be a good boss?
in Work Place

By kmelkevolution17kmelkevolution17 87 Pts edited June 2017
this is a very controversial topic. Do you need to be a rude, bidder guy or gal to be a good boss? Should you be friends with your employees or bitter enemies?
therep
  1. Do you need to be a mean guy or gal?

    15 votes
    1. Yes
      13.33%
    2. No
      53.33%
    3. Mix
      33.33%
  2. Friends or bitter enemies?

    15 votes
    1. Friends
      80.00%
    2. Enemies
      20.00%



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Arguments

  • thereptherep 61 Pts
    Yes, you have to set a tone for the employees.
  • agsragsr 824 Pts
    It really depends.  If the employees are high end then you really need to partner with them to get the most value.  They are likely on the higher end of the Maslow Self Actualization pyramid and don't need you to be mean in order to get maximum productivity and innovation.  
    While you should never be "mean" to the employees regardless, it maybe good idea to be really stern with lower lever employees that perform more mechanical types of tasks.

    In almost no case you should be an enemy of your employees, and similarly you probably should not be their friend as that creates weird boundaries in a work relationship. Often when employees are friends and then one gets promoted to become the boss, the relationship changes.
    Erfisflat
    Live Long and Prosper
  • It is important to be strict within reason when dealing with critical issues at work, but never go out of your way to make an employee feel more worthless than another. A workplace's most important asset is its people, and instead of increasing unfriendly competition, it is better to take advantage of everything someone has to offer.
    agsr
    1. I think that to be a successful boss you must be assertive, stern and effective. Creating friendships with employees is important. Giving constructive criticism doesn't make you mean you are mean. As long as the intention behind the comments are not to hurt the person listening your words, you are doing your job. Be genuine and smart, conscious of your surroundings and know how to create the successful results for the fate of your company. 
    BaconToes
  • Being a good boss does not necessarily require being mean.  I think being a good boss includes having respect for your employees, knowing how to handle conflict, and being approachable.  Handling conflict does not mean being rude to your employees or whoever you are punishing, but talking through the conflict with them and working to find a solution.  Scaring people into listening to you is most likely less productive and less effective than having people work hard for you because they want to and want to impress you.
  • See I am not a boss or even a employee.But as a job seeker with a entrepreneur ideology what I learned that ,there are 3 kinds of bosses
    1-the one who say -"I'm the troubleshooter and I'll solve prob alone.
    (By this way there are less chances of prob being solved and less chance of correction, improvement)

    2-the one who says its your prob,solve it on your own.this boss is better than 1st because he empowers his employees .but on the contrary his employee looses faith in him and underestimate boss knowledge and so curve behind his back


    3-the one who says "come ,let's solve this prob".
    This one is I think best because this is true leadership.. Taking everyone forward with you.
    My whole point is , being cooperative until there it is a bad outcome of not being it ,helps boss to promote teamwork with his team
    And show the leadership by taking strict actions at the very end(after which it will be a very big prob)
  • I believe that "mean" is being confused with "stern". A malicious boss is in no way a good boss, but a boss with expectations, and a boss who is actively working with you is a good boss. A good boss should be a good leader, as a leader is someone who takes charge of a team in an efficient manner. A good leader is never malicious and does not intentionally mistreat employees. I believe that a "mean boss" is therefore one who actively goes against employees and actively performs intentional malicious actions. A bad leader will inevitably result in a bad boss. Just my two cents.
  • No, a lot of schools of management thought will suggest working with your employees in a co-operative fashion to get the best from them.
  • VaulkVaulk 513 Pts
    There's a fundamental misunderstanding on the difference between being "Mean" and simply separating one's self from your employees so as to not establish a friendship.  You cannot afford to be friends with your employees...leadership 101.
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • I have a different outlook on this but the retort 'you're all talk I bet you're not a boss' is likely to be a comeback here. You are not entirely right. I have led online gaming teams among other things in my time and the teams consistently did far better with me in charge than other members of the team taking that role. They also were shocked how well i could read their minds when they were in charge, I'd suggest things while their brain was forming the idea and we'd have such ridiculously good synergy. It is because humans are predictable but not all humans (very few humans at all) are the same as each other.

    You need to spot patterns in behaviour, reactions and learning capacity. You would never be able to lead a fully retarded person with Down's Syndrome as well as a 190IQ genius who is miles ahead of you simply because of the potential of the underling to do what you suggest at maximum efficiency and to even improve upon your own 'orders' and evolve it when you're not looking behind your back making the workplace better than it ever could be without their subtle improvements.

    Now, let's take a 150IQ person who is naturally submissive and prone to enjoy being led firmly with very clear instructions and compare them to a 146IQ person who is quite domineering and who reacts far better to asking them questions about how they think something should be done and then taking that into account when giving back a direct order in a vague way allowing them still to have the flexibility to feel dominant and not overpowered.

    There are very power-hungry people who enjoy nothing more than overpowering other dominant people but these people are the most toxic bosses who never can work together with a team of leaders and only will ever be as good as their own IQ and emotional tenacity allows them to be rather than letting others keep the business afloat when they are feeling a little lazy or are out of their depth with the particular area of expertise required for the issue at hand.

    Intelligence matters most, you can't lead an idiot as well as you can a genius ever but what you can do is lead people of similar intelligence extremely well as each other by balancing out to match and compliment their persona in the right ways (yes match means to mimic them in the rights ways while compliment mean being the opposite to them in the right ways).
    Be tomorrow's hero, not today's idol.
  • As always Debra with the truth.


    Be tomorrow's hero, not today's idol.
  • I think a lot of people here have no management experience and rather naive authoritarian ideas about being in charge of others.

    Just to drive the point home, here's Ha-Joon Chang (Proffesso of Political Economy of Development at the University of Cambridge) explaining how this just makes no sense:


    "The assumption of self-seeking individualism, which is at the heart of free-market economics, has a lot of resonance with our personal experience. We have all been cheated by unscrupulous traders, be it the fruit seller who put some rotten plums at the bottom of the paper bag of the yoghurt company that vastly exaggerated the health benefits of its products. We know too many corrupt politicians and lazy bureaucrats to believe that all public servants are solely serving the public. Most of us, myself included, have goofed off from work ourselves and some of us have been frustrated by junior colleagues and assistants who find all kinds of excuses not to put in serious work. Moreover, what we read in the news media these days tells us that professional managers, even the supposed champions of shareholder interest such as Jack Welch of Ge and Rick Wagoner of GM, have not really been serving the best interests of the shareholders.

    This is true. However, we also have a lot of evidence - not just anecdotes but true systematic evidence - showing that self-interest is not the only human motivation that matters in our economic life. Self-interest, to be sure, is one of the most important, but we have many other motives - honesty, self-respect, altruism, love, sympathy, faith, sense of duty, solidarity, loyalty, public-spiritedness, patriotism, and so on - that are sometimes even more important than self-seeking as the driver of our behaviours.

    Our earlier example of Kobe Steels shows how successful companies are running on trust and loyalty, rather than suspicion and self-seeking. If you think this is a peculiar example from a country of 'worker ants' that suppresses individuality against human nature, pick up any book of business leadership or any autobiography by a successful businessman published in the West and see what they say. Do they say that you have to suspect people and watch them all the time for slacking and cheating? No, they probably talk mostly about how to 'connect' with the employees, change the way they see things, inspire them, and promote team-work among them. Good managers know that people are not tunnel-visioned self-seeking robots. They know that people have good sides and bad sides and that the secret of good management is in magnifying the former and toning down the latter.

    Another good example to illustrate the complexity of human motivation is the practice of 'work to rule', where workers slow down output by strictly following the rules that govern their tasks. You may wonder how workers can hurt their employers by working according to the rule. However this semi-strike method also known as 'Italian strike' (and as 'sciopero bianco' or 'white strike', by Italians themselves) - is known to reduce output by 30 - 50%. This is because not everything can be specified in employment contracts (rules) and therefore all production processes rely heavily on the workers goodwill to do extra things that are not required by their contract or exercise initiatives and take shortcuts in order to expedite things when the rules are too cumbersome. The motivations behind such non-selfish behaviours by workers are varied - fondness of their jobs, pride in their workmanship, self-respect, solidarity with their colleagues, trust in their top managers or loyalty to their company. But the bottom line is that companies, and thus our economy, would grind to a halt if people acted in totally selfish ways, as they are assumed to do in free-market economies.

    The Capitalists of the early mass production era thought like you when they tried to deprive workers of control over the speed of the shiny new conveyor belts. They quickly found their workers becoming passive, unthinking and even uncooperative when they were deprived of their autonomy and dignity.

    Starting with the Human Relations School in the 30s, which highlighting the need for communication with and among workers, loads of new managerial approaches have emerged that emphasise the complexity of human motivation and suggest ways to bring the best out of workers.

    One of the best known if the Japanese or Toyota production system. It exploits the goodwill of creativity of workers by giving them responsibilities and trusting them as moral agents. Workers are given a considerable degree of control over the production line. They are also encouraged to make suggestions for improvements to the production process. This approach has enabled japanese firms to get such production efficiency that many non-Japanese firms are now imitating them.

    By assuming that there are lots of other motivations besides self-interest, Japanese companies have got the best out off their employees."

  • VaulkVaulk 513 Pts
    I have a different outlook on this but the retort 'you're all talk I bet you're not a boss' is likely to be a comeback here. You are not entirely right. I have led online gaming teams among other things in my time and the teams consistently did far better with me in charge than other members of the team taking that role. They also were shocked how well i could read their minds when they were in charge, I'd suggest things while their brain was forming the idea and we'd have such ridiculously good synergy. It is because humans are predictable but not all humans (very few humans at all) are the same as each other.

    You need to spot patterns in behaviour, reactions and learning capacity. You would never be able to lead a fully retarded person with Down's Syndrome as well as a 190IQ genius who is miles ahead of you simply because of the potential of the underling to do what you suggest at maximum efficiency and to even improve upon your own 'orders' and evolve it when you're not looking behind your back making the workplace better than it ever could be without their subtle improvements.

    Now, let's take a 150IQ person who is naturally submissive and prone to enjoy being led firmly with very clear instructions and compare them to a 146IQ person who is quite domineering and who reacts far better to asking them questions about how they think something should be done and then taking that into account when giving back a direct order in a vague way allowing them still to have the flexibility to feel dominant and not overpowered.

    There are very power-hungry people who enjoy nothing more than overpowering other dominant people but these people are the most toxic bosses who never can work together with a team of leaders and only will ever be as good as their own IQ and emotional tenacity allows them to be rather than letting others keep the business afloat when they are feeling a little lazy or are out of their depth with the particular area of expertise required for the issue at hand.

    Intelligence matters most, you can't lead an idiot as well as you can a genius ever but what you can do is lead people of similar intelligence extremely well as each other by balancing out to match and compliment their persona in the right ways (yes match means to mimic them in the rights ways while compliment mean being the opposite to them in the right ways).
    Leadership can be summed up by the qualities that one must possess in order to be a Leader.  For this I'll operating with the understanding that ineffective leadership is in effect not leadership at all.

    1.  One must be a Leader with Character.  No amount of intelligence will replace or supplement the necessary character qualities that absolutely must be present in order to lead.  Your character qualities are the vast majority of the reason that people will or won't follow you depending on what they are.  

    2.  One must be a Leader with Presence.  Confidence built upon competence with the attitude and willpower to drive others to succeed is critical in the Leadership role.  The opposite would be the meek person standing at the back of the room who would rather follow than have to think about speaking in front of people.

    3.  One must be a Leader with intellectual capacity.  Intelligence is not required however, the capacity for it is necessary in order to succeed.  You cannot lead if you do not have the capacity to learn and to use that knowledge effectively during your role as a leader.  Even if it's just for the task at hand and limited to the very specific information regarding your role.

    Intelligence is in last position for a reason and that's because it's not nearly as critical as the first two in the organization of leadership qualities.  Essentially, if you don't have impeccable character with the appropriate attitude and demeanor then no one will care how intelligent you are...such is the difference between a Leader and a Boss.
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • Vaulk said:
    I have a different outlook on this but the retort 'you're all talk I bet you're not a boss' is likely to be a comeback here. You are not entirely right. I have led online gaming teams among other things in my time and the teams consistently did far better with me in charge than other members of the team taking that role. They also were shocked how well i could read their minds when they were in charge, I'd suggest things while their brain was forming the idea and we'd have such ridiculously good synergy. It is because humans are predictable but not all humans (very few humans at all) are the same as each other.

    You need to spot patterns in behaviour, reactions and learning capacity. You would never be able to lead a fully retarded person with Down's Syndrome as well as a 190IQ genius who is miles ahead of you simply because of the potential of the underling to do what you suggest at maximum efficiency and to even improve upon your own 'orders' and evolve it when you're not looking behind your back making the workplace better than it ever could be without their subtle improvements.

    Now, let's take a 150IQ person who is naturally submissive and prone to enjoy being led firmly with very clear instructions and compare them to a 146IQ person who is quite domineering and who reacts far better to asking them questions about how they think something should be done and then taking that into account when giving back a direct order in a vague way allowing them still to have the flexibility to feel dominant and not overpowered.

    There are very power-hungry people who enjoy nothing more than overpowering other dominant people but these people are the most toxic bosses who never can work together with a team of leaders and only will ever be as good as their own IQ and emotional tenacity allows them to be rather than letting others keep the business afloat when they are feeling a little lazy or are out of their depth with the particular area of expertise required for the issue at hand.

    Intelligence matters most, you can't lead an idiot as well as you can a genius ever but what you can do is lead people of similar intelligence extremely well as each other by balancing out to match and compliment their persona in the right ways (yes match means to mimic them in the rights ways while compliment mean being the opposite to them in the right ways).
    Leadership can be summed up by the qualities that one must possess in order to be a Leader.  For this I'll operating with the understanding that ineffective leadership is in effect not leadership at all.

    1.  One must be a Leader with Character.  No amount of intelligence will replace or supplement the necessary character qualities that absolutely must be present in order to lead.  Your character qualities are the vast majority of the reason that people will or won't follow you depending on what they are.  

    2.  One must be a Leader with Presence.  Confidence built upon competence with the attitude and willpower to drive others to succeed is critical in the Leadership role.  The opposite would be the meek person standing at the back of the room who would rather follow than have to think about speaking in front of people.

    3.  One must be a Leader with intellectual capacity.  Intelligence is not required however, the capacity for it is necessary in order to succeed.  You cannot lead if you do not have the capacity to learn and to use that knowledge effectively during your role as a leader.  Even if it's just for the task at hand and limited to the very specific information regarding your role.

    Intelligence is in last position for a reason and that's because it's not nearly as critical as the first two in the organization of leadership qualities.  Essentially, if you don't have impeccable character with the appropriate attitude and demeanor then no one will care how intelligent you are...such is the difference between a Leader and a Boss.
    I can fully justify my claims, you are just typing what you assert is undeniably the difference between a 'leader' and 'boss' among other things.
    Be tomorrow's hero, not today's idol.
  • VaulkVaulk 513 Pts
    edited April 17
    I can fully justify my claims, you are just typing what you assert is undeniably the difference between a 'leader' and 'boss' among other things.
    Well, you didn't...but I'm not surprised.

    And you're assuming that these are my assertions.  Be very careful about assumptions in debate, they create the image of foolishness.  What I posted above is doctrine, not personal assertion, it's also sound.  But while I went into detail and explained in full the reasons that these leadership qualities are more important than general intelligence...you have merely suggested that you "Can" justify your claims.  

    By your standards of debate I could simply claim that "I can" defeat your argument...and then forego posting anything...and still win.

    Your argument is also an Ad Hominem attack, you've made your argument against me and what I've done rather than addressing my argument at all.  You're trying to discount my argument by insisting that it's simply my assertion, an attempt to undermine my detailed argument by suggesting that it's only my opinion.  Tsk tsk tsk.

    I'll take that victory.
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 280 Pts
    You do not have to be mean necessarily, and there is a lot of very successful CEOs (such as Sergey Brin or Mark Zuckerberg) that are extremely friendly and polite when interacting with their employees.

    However, you need to be firm. The difference is subtle, but significant: when you are firm, you can be nice to your employees and to respect their opinion - but you also have to be able to stand your ground and push your line when needed. The employees should feel your determination, they should know that they are in the hands of someone who knows what he/she is doing, that they can rely on you to make the hard choices.

    My research advisor is a good example of what I consider a perfect boss should be like. He is very-very friendly, it is a joy to talk to him at any time, he never overworks me and respects my desire to take some rest every now and then - that said, I feel that I can rely on him to slap some sense into me when I go lazy, or when I have some crazy idea that just is not going to work. He will not be aggressive towards me, but he can say, "You know, I understand where you are coming from, but let us not pursue this endeavor: I do not think it is a very promising one".

    Same goes to any kind of leadership, including parentage: mean parents can be as damaging to the child as overprotective or not caring parents. The best parents are those who will love their child and react on any of his/her actions or choices with understanding and spiritual support - but who also have the strength to say, "No", when it is really needed. 
  • drodgersdrodgers 33 Pts
    @kmelkevolution17

    No, in fact, if you are mean to people, you are by definition not a good boss.  

    As a boss, you must set the standard and hold people accountable.  That is not the same as being mean.
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