Jory offers this interesting post called, The Price of Arrogance: Bully Bosses Pay It Eventually.
"I can't imagine there are too many bad bosses who go home at night proud to have made their employees' lives miserable. I've had bad bosses talk about the horrible bosses they had. They were like juvenile delinquents who hadn't yet mapped their abusive past to their current behavior. Maybe YOU are a bad boss and haven't admitted it to yourself yet."
Jory, I hate to say it, but I think most bad bosses go home proud of what they accomplished that day. I have worked with, for, and around several really bad bosses and I think that most don't think the way we expect them to think. It does not even occur to them that the way they are managing is wrong and often they will think their methods are right.
Does this make it OK to be a bad boss? No, that's not what I am saying. But I do think it makes change more difficult. And really, this is just an exaggeration of the behavioral style and tendency differences we all have. Every day we do things that others cannot believe we would even consider and visa versa. (For example, I knew a manager that allowed a group of his employees to get shirts made up that said, "Future employees of ______ (the competition)." Not only did he expense these shirts (the company paid for them), he let them wear the shirts on the job. I could not fathom the mindset that rationalized this, but this manager thought nothing of it and thought it was funny)
I have been with a group of CEOs for small companies and listened to them talk together. I would have sworn I was on Candid Camera, because what they were saying seemed so off the wall to me.
I know one VP who is such a turd. Nobody wants to deal with him. Nobody wants to work for him. And I honestly believe he thinks there is nothing wrong with his approach. He should have some awareness now, because enough people have told him, but I think he thinks they are weak and too sensitive. It would be very hard to get him to change.
I once worked for a smart guy who was a politicking weasel. I was at the company first, and resented the fact that he was mucking up my experience. I eventually left.
The remedy? It is sad, but vote with your feet - don't work for bad bosses. Life is too short. Sure, we can hope that their bosses will counsel them and perhaps they will get help. But most don't want help and view help as a waste of their time.
Sometimes these bad bosses get worked out of the system, but often they do OK. Why? In part because we tolerate them.
Note: If you do need to stay at your job and work for a bad boss, then you need to get over the fact they are a bad boss or this will eat you alive. Perhaps knowing that he/she is likely oblivious to the obvious will help. See my post about redefining your experience.