How to spot—and deal with—a toxic boss

Whether you’re toiling under a power-mad misanthrope, a callous taskmaster, or perhaps just a garden-variety nincompoop, follow this guidance to handle different types of lousy leaders.  

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Signs of a toxic boss

There are lots of people out there who shouldn’t be allowed to manage a banana stand—much less be empowered to oversee human beings in a business setting.

Whether due to guile, intimidation, corporate inertia, churn or nepotism, certain types of rotten tomatoes sometimes rise to lofty positions. What can you do if you get saddled with someone whose leadership skills are lacking?

An infographic published by reveals the telltale signs of a bad boss—and lists ways to deal with each type of stinky big cheese. Citing guidance from Barbara Kellerman’s “Bad Leadership” book, the piece lists seven types of toxic leaders:

Your first step is to determine which kind of toxicity you’re dealing with. Then, you can plot your path forward. suggests the following actions to thwart and defang and your Chief Snake in the Grass:

Use initiative to counter an incompetent boss. The piece cites guidance from Amy Gallo, who suggests proactively taking tasks off your aloof exec’s plate. This type of power move can stymie your leader’s ineptitude, while bolstering your own credentials.

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