To All You Horrible Bosses Out There: Thanks For Inspiring Me to Move On

It was a simple list — a tribute to those who I adore because they helped me become the person I am today.

I thought about Kevin who honed my words early in my writing career. I thought about Al who shared life-lessons and wisdom. I thought about Kim who opened my creative mind.

But then, I thought about something else. All of these people were my mentors. And they weren’t the only people who had a positive influence on my work.

Thanks to all the bad bosses I learned from

What about all the horrible people I’ve worked with? Didn’t they create an equal impact? Don’t they deserve thanks?

  • Thanks to the gal who told me,It’s not your job to think.”
  • Thanks to the manager who told me,Quit trying so hard. You’ll never amount to anything in this company before I do.”
  • Thanks to the boss who sat me down on his first day and said, “Todd, I understand you’re the guy who knows everything about this place.” I humbly responded, “Well, not everything.” And he grunted, “Well, from now on, you know nothing and I know everything.”
  • Thanks to the business owner who hired me to write and then sat over my shoulder every day and told me, word-for-word, what to write.
  • Thanks to the executive who treated me like a king but loved to call me into his office to tell me, “Those people are just idiots.”
  • Thanks to the screamers, the temper tantrums, the snide comments, and the egos.
  • Thanks to all the managers who believe it’s their job to control instead of motivate.
  • Thanks to all the guys and gals who believe their roles are to be the trolls under the bridge and hold everyone back from moving forward.

A major influence on how we treat others

To all of these people, you actually deserve a sincere thank you for being a horrible boss.

You taught us exactly who we didn’t want to be and showed us which companies we shouldn’t work for. You inspired us to find greater challenges, more meaningful work, and develop more effective working relationships.

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You are, probably even more than the people we wanted to emulate, major influences in the way we work and the way we treat others.

The greatest teachers aren’t just those people who inspire us. Some of the greatest teachers are also those who inspire us to move on.

And for those people, we should also be thankful.

This was originally published on the OC Tanner blog.

Todd R. Nordstrom is a renowned blogger, book author, researcher, social marketer, and speaker. Todd has worked side-by-side with many of the world’s biggest names in business books, self-improvement, and health. “So, who am I? Quite simply, I'm a guy who gets out of bed each morning, knowing that it's my turn to contribute—believing I can make this world a better place.”

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