We realize there are days when it can feel as if everyone around you is inept. Companies, after all, are composed of people, and people screw up, reward mediocrity, play politics, and otherwise commit myriad organizational sins.
But the “everyone’s dumb but me” attitude is dangerous. Not only is it a career-killer, but it’s also simply not a realistic perspective on business. Too many companies perform well everyday—returning billions in profits by inventing, making, selling, and distributing millions of products and services—for every manager out there to be a total nincompoop.
That’s why we suggest that if you have a gloomy view of the working world, take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself if you might just be a boss hater.
How to evaluate if you are a boss hater.
Very few people would ever identify themselves as boss haters. They usually see themselves as noble victims, speaking truth to power. Forget that line. Boss haters are a breed. It doesn’t matter where they work—big corporations, family companies, partnerships, non-profits, newspapers, or government agencies. Boss haters enter into any authority relationship with barely repressed cynicism and ingrained negativity toward “the system.” And even though their reasons may be varied, from upbringing to personality to political bent, boss haters are unified in their inability to see the value in any person above them in a hierarchy.
The boss haters in any organization tend to find each other, and once in numbers, they usually become quite outspoken. Boss haters also tend to be on the high-IQ side. That’s unfortunate, really. Because instead of using their intelligence to improve the way work is done, boss haters focus, laser-like, on all of the organization’s flaws and the sheer, incomprehensible idiocy of the higher-ups.
Of course, because of their intelligence, some boss haters do get ahead—briefly. More often, the organization feels their vibe, and bosses respond in kind, with distancing or worse.
Now, maybe you’re not a boss hater and your boss is just one of these. But if you find you have no shortage of contempt for those at the top, perhaps you should give yourself a test. Think of a boss you’ve encountered who didn’t have a problem. If you can’t, the problem may be something you can fix just by opening up your mind.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.