May 15, 2024 | Mark Paradies

Fire Your Boss?


A Bad Boss Can Ruin Your Career

Have you ever had a boss that you needed to fire?

A boss that is:

  • hurting your company,
  • damaging peoples’ careers, and
  • miserable to work for.

I was making a list of the great leaders and mentors that I’ve had, and that got me to think of the few really bad people that I’ve worked for.


Unfortunately, I never thought about firing a bad boss. But now, I would consider it.

My Bad Bosses

What are my examples of bad bosses?

In one case, I was in the military. The ship’s Commanding Officer was a screamer. There wasn’t an officer on the ship that liked working for him. But, in the military, you have no choice of who you work for. After two years of a bad boss, I went to my next ship, which had a great Commanding Officer.

I know that movies make fragging (killing your boss) seem like an option in combat, but I never considered it. My Dad (a fighter pilot and Ace) did consider it during WWII. His wing commander was getting multiple pilots in the squadron killed by bad calls. My Dad had several close calls but was lucky and good and survived the wing commander’s bad decisions. It turned out that he didn’t have to choose between his commander and his fellow pilots. The wing commander was shot down by the ME-109 and rescued from the channel by the British, but his incompetence was realized, and he was transferred and (I think) promoted to non-flying duties.

In the second example, my boss was a miserable soul. His only thought was getting ahead – he wanted to be a VP (which he eventually accomplished). He would do anything to get ahead. Luckily, he “traded” me away (think baseball trades) for someone else to advance his agenda. It was great getting out from under his “leadership.”

What makes these two bad bosses seem even worse are the great leaders I’ve worked for and known.

My Advice About Firing Your Boss

Therefore, here is my advice…

If you don’t have a great boss at a great company, fire your boss.

How do you do that?

Find a great boss in your company and get traded. Or, look for a different, great company with a great boss that wants you.

The other possibility is to BE the boss by starting your own company. (This has its own rewards and problems.)

Or you could wait for someone to fire, transfer, or promote your lousy boss.

But I’d suggest NOT waiting.

Life is too short to live with a miserable boss.

And for those living under a bad boss, here’s a song for you …

And if you have a great boss, let them know how happy you are working for them.

Human Performance, Operational Excellence
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