Do Bad Bosses Always Beget Bad Bosses?

It is a worthy question for new manager training folks to ask: do bad bosses influence their followers to the extent that they become bad bosses too?

And, of course, an answer to the reverse would be instructive as well. Do good leaders beget good bosses?

Considerable leadership research has been done to analyze how much effect good or bad bosses have upon their team members as they climb their own corporate ladder to management positions. It seems that the answers are not as clear cut as you might expect.

Some individuals overcome their bad bosses with a determination not to make the same mistakes. Poor leadership is not an inevitable result. But neither is good leadership an absolute predictor of next generation good bosses. In sum, it seems that great leaders have more of a positive influence than bad leaders have a negative effect on their followers.

That is generally good news but only one aspect of the damage that bad bosses can have. Scrub them from your organization so they have no opportunity to break apart teams and destroy motivation and morale…much less teach poor management habits to those who become managers.