Michael Hyatt is one of the most prolific bloggers on planet earth, and one of the most poignant as well.  He has had bad bosses over the years and learned a lot from them.

Read on for some excellent insights and lessons.

Originally posted by Michael Hyatt

I have had over twenty bosses in my career. One was great, most were average, and more than a few were downright terrible. Surprisingly, I learned the most from the bad ones.

The problem is that the bad bosses make you so miserable, sometimes you fail to appreciate how much you are learning. While I wouldn’t want to work for those bosses again, I wouldn’t trade what they taught me—even if it was unintentional.

So here are fifteen semi-random lessons I learned from bad bosses. I want you to have the opportunity to go to school on my experience.

  1. Bosses create an emotional climate with their attitudes and behaviors.
  2. The higher up you are, the more people read into everything you say and do. Stuff gets amplified as it moves downstream.
  3. A word of encouragement can literally make someone’s week. Conversely, a harsh word can ruin it.
  4. Hire the right people then trust them to do their job.
  5. Don’t ever intentionally embarrass people in front of their boss, their peers, or their direct reports.
  6. Get both sides of the story before you take action.
  7. Tell the truth; then you don’t have to remember what you said.
  8. Don’t get stuck in the paralysis of analysis. Pull the trigger.
  9. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want published on the front page of the paper.
  10. Don’t ever ask your people to do something you are unwilling to do yourself.
  11. Respect other people’s time, especially those under you.
  12. Follow-through on your commitments, even when it is inconvenient or expensive.
  13. Don’t be ambitious to get promoted. Instead, focus on serving and doing a great job.
  14. Be responsive to everyone at every level. You never know who may be your next boss.
  15. Do not complain about your boss to anyone who is not part of the solution. If you can’t keep from complaining, then have the integrity to quit.

The bottom line is this: You can learn from anyone. If you don’t work for a great leader, don’t despair. Some of the lessons that impact you the most will come from the leaders who impressed you the least.

Assume this: you have exactly the leader you need right now to learn what you need to go to the next level.