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How a bad boss can be detrimental to your health

I read an interesting article today that I thought I’d share with you.  The article, entitled “Bad bosses can be bad for your health,” explores the issue of whether having an intolerable boss can actually produce negative results in terms of a person’s overall health.  This quote was particularly insightful:

“Seventy-five percent of working adults say the worst aspect of their job — the most stressful aspect of their job — is their immediate boss,” Hogan says. “Bad managers create enormous health costs and are a major source of misery for many people.”

That is pretty eye-opening for anyone who is a boss.  I think the key take-away from this article (at least for managers) is to constantly be seeking ways to improve your management/leadership style.  As this article noted:

“The factors that help these people get promoted contribute to ruthless top managers, who are ambitious, selfish, very tough and harm staff morale…”

So look at your own management style.  Is it conducive to healthy work relationships for your employees?  What are some areas that you need to work on in making your workplace a better place for employees?

As I have been reading about different theories of leadership in my PhD classes, the one I have been most impressed with (and which seems directly applicable to the questions I mentioned above) is the theory of servant leadership.  This theory is based around the idea that leaders must be servants first–looking out for the good of their employees, customers, and others above their own needs.  Gene Wilkes, a pastor here in the DFW area, wrote a great book titled Jesus on Leadership in which he relates the ways in which this model of leadership was exhibited initially by Jesus.  But even modern secular writers (such as Robert Greenleaf in his classic Servant Leadership) have espoused this type of leadership style as being particularly effective in promoting employee satisfaction.

So my recommendation would be this–think about how you can serve your employees, clients, and others better.  In so doing, you may just find the key to taking away much of the negative feelings they have about their job and your organization as a whole.

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