Reforming, and if need be terminating, the jerk manager is
more important than finding a great manager. Let’s face
it, managing is all about common sense and knowing how to
treat people well. Managers don’t need to be charismatic
leaders, they just need to be human.
The jerk manager is that person with the abrasive
personality who leaves others feeling embarrassed,
attacked, and/or devalued at the end of a conversation.
The interesting thing about the jerk manager is that
he/she may only display this bad behavior sporadically.
However, the ripple effect of that behavior can last for
Research estimates that 1 out of every 10 managers can be
placed in this jerk category.
HR POINTER: The jerk manager is bad for the bottom line.
All the benefits a company derives from the leadership of
a great management team can be destroyed by one jerk
manager. It’s the classic case of 1 bad apple spoiling
the whole bunch.
The solution to this problem is certainly not more
training. Training will work to make good managers
better. More training for a jerk manager is like training
a mean dog to perform more tricks – it doesn’t make the
dog any less mean.
In this scenario, the behaviors of the jerk manager must
change or he/she must leave, regardless of his/her
The intense conversation to correct the behaviors of
such managers is part of our disciplinary program called
For an overview of our Open-Heart Conversations program,
download the white paper on our website titled
“Disciplinary Conversations” at