The personality you need to succeed

Is there a place for the mean boss in the 21st century?

Photo from Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

We all know the stories of bad bosses in large corporations who ruthlessly open their elbows and tear apart anyone who contradicts them.

You often get the feeling that you can only climb the corporate ladder if you play this game. Be tough, hide emotions, forge intrigues, and quickly seize an opportunity to gain more power.

Many also know unpleasant and strict bosses in smaller companies who, detached from the wishes and opinions of employees, push through their own agenda, and react thin-skinned to criticism.

Negative voices are suppressed and isolated, criticism is twisted, the critic discredited and it is shot back sharply. Some of the critics are humiliated in front of the entire workforce and should serve as an example that should show everyone what happens when you open your mouth too wide.

Sometimes you have the feeling that the boardrooms of companies are inundated with these kinds of bosses. But in fact, the proportion of these bosses seems to be decreasing.

Especially in recent times, fairness, communication, and mutual respect, and hard work seem to be the recipe for success for more and more young executives.

But why is that and does it mean that the bad bosses are dying out?

First of all, the bad news: The bad bosses will likely never die out, but there are some positive trends to be seen.

Times are changing!

I don’t want to go too far in this context, but you can basically see some changes in large parts of society and the business world. Values ​​such as sustainability, cooperation, fairness, and respect seem to have established themselves in many parts of society.

As a result, organizations and companies have to give an account of their behavior. More often scandals get a big amount of attention (even if after some scandals things are carried on in exactly the same way as before).

But by and large, society’s demands for responsible behavior have grown and this is also penetrating into the structures of companies.

The employees bring new demands with them into their companies and also express them to their bosses.

Especially skilled workers can often choose between various vacancies and why should they take one where the boss does not respect them sufficiently and does not give them enough freedom.

When the best people avoid certain companies or departments, that’s a strong signal to bosses and possibly higher-level executives that something is going wrong.

In this way, the quality of the department can gradually decrease and the boss can no longer achieve his/her KPIs either.

It is also easier to change jobs today than it was 50 years ago, and a brain drain can develop in companies when working conditions are poor.

This is also due to the fact that there are various websites on which companies can be rated and certain companies with poor ratings have a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting employees.

A bad image can hardly be shed today.

When this cycle repeats itself, the whole department may consist of unscrupulous lone fighters and selfish, power-hungry people, and cooperation suffers extremely. Small turf wars can arise anywhere and discussions no longer focus on the content and the people are only concerned with “winning”.

So no more problems are solved and no one is interested in them, because no one wants to admit the nakedness of mistakes.

On the bright side: there is also a fresh attitude towards life and a new understanding of work-life balance.

The job should no longer just secure living, but also be fun, working hours and locations should become more flexible and the relationship with colleagues and bosses also plays an important role.

A bad atmosphere at the workplace does not at all suit these new demands.

What can you take away from these thoughts and what does that mean for your startup or company?

To put it simply: Be yourself!

Today’s service and information society is more about creativity and innovation than ever before.

New technologies are constantly emerging and startups have the potential to create completely new markets themselves. All of this is not achieved by fighting for power, but by breaking new ground.

So you should look ahead and build a friendly team to generate different ideas. It doesn’t work well when you’re mean and the team doesn’t work well together.

Of course, there are great inventions that have arisen through competitive struggles or even wars, but this usually does not apply to companies and certainly not to startups.

A company and thus new ideas develop best when a positive sense of community arises and one wants to achieve something together. If everyone pulls together, the business can be developed better and more sustainably than with a group of lone fighters.

Lone fighters also tend to prioritize short-term personal success over the long-term development of the company. If, on the other hand, you work together on a vision, the development is more sustainable and you will pursue the same objectives.

In addition, success feels much better when you can share it with the team and not just see it on the new business card.

From this, I conclude that the future belongs to cooperation and teamwork and that lone fighters and power-seekers will become fewer and fewer in the future.

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