Best Practices: How to Be a Great Bosshole

What should your Bosshole curriculum teach? First, Bossholes must be taught how to capture any and all critical information and keep it to themselves. Sharing information is a sign of weakness.

By Neal Goodman, Ph.D.

We all have heard that being a great Bosshole is not genetic but learned. Still, I am certain that one day an MRI or some genetic research is going to find a malevolent gene or brain defect that causes BAD (Bosshole Abusiveness Disorder).

Until we can find a genetic cause, we must persevere with a learning curriculum based on the best-sellers: “The Seven Steps to Becoming a Bosshole,” “In Search of Exploitation,” and the recently published “Becoming a Global Bosshole.” Fortunately, there has been a great deal of validated research coming out of the Center for Creative Cretinism, which has demonstrated that the skills and competencies associated with being a Bosshole can be measured and validated. The Center now can certify Bossholes who successfully complete their two-year program, and those who wish to go for an advanced level can take a one-year practicum and receive the designation of Master Bosshole. The American Association of Bosshole Management recently identified the Core Bosshole Competencies and has displayed this in an inverted pyramid.

So what should your Bosshole curriculum teach?

  1. Leadership and Accountability. Great Bossholes know how to instill fear into their subordinates and use that fear to get their subordinates to do all their work, while the Bosshole takes all the credit and a disproportionate amount of the salaries and bonuses.
  2. Bosshole Communication Style. Bossholes must be taught how to capture any and all critical information and keep it to themselves. Sharing information is a sign of weakness, but distributing misinformation—especially if it will incite anger or produce apathy among the rest of the workers—is something that must be taught and practiced until it is mastered. Bossholes must be taught the important ability to smile and listen to their underlings in the hope that they may come up with a good idea to claim for themselves.
  3. Reward and Recognition. Bossholes must learn to ignore the personal needs of their subordinates. There can be no time for parties, breaks, or access to the Internet for personal use. Workers are expected to happily work overtime and forego vacation in the hope that they can maintain their miserable jobs. Incentive programs such as Employee of the Month are strongly recommended since they can be given to the Bossholes’ personal favorites.
  4. Innovation, Vision, and Diversity. A good curriculum must help Bossholes to identify and appreciate the fact that the qualities they have attained over the years are based on their persona and that they must institute procedures to identify, develop, and retain people just like them. This includes people who look, think, and act like Bossholes. Inclusiveness of like-minded people should be measured and rewarded. Bossholes must be taught how to manage their time and those of others most effectively. This means spending the maximum amount of time in the office. Time spent out of the office is time wasted since all good ideas come from within your office. The only exception to this rule is to take time to be with other Bossholes playing golf or some other meaningful activity or to attend a conference at a luxurious resort where Bossholes meet and bestow awards for the Top Bossholes of the Year.
  5. Masking Vulnerability. Bossholes must be taught techniques so they never demonstrate vulnerability or uncertainty. A good curriculum will put Bossholes through a variety of simulated situations where they can practice their demonstration of power without knowledge.
  6. Enhancement of Bosshole Skills. Several leading business schools have hopped on the Bosshole bandwagon after realizing that most of the best-known Bossholes are their alumni. These schools now are offering Certification and Recertification in Bosshole Excellence. If you are fortunate enough to report to a Bosshole, you may want to show your appreciation by anonymously leaving a copy of this column for them. Don’t worry, they will check all the cameras they have placed in the office to track you down and thank you as only a Bosshole could.

I welcome your like-minded tongue-in-cheek input regarding Best Bosshole practices that we can post. Please send them to me at

Neal Goodman, Ph.D., is president of Global Dynamics, Inc., a training and development firm specializing in globalization, cultural intelligence, effective virtual workplaces, and diversity and inclusion. He can be reached at 305.682.7883 and at For more information, visit


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