Why We Should Love Bad Managers

Posted on November 9, 2010


Is it possible that the HR profession has gone too far in promoting and encouraging employee engagement? And maybe all the time and money spent on leadership training and coaching managers and executives on being better bosses is not just a waste, but perhaps even pulling down the economy?

Well, no, not really, but Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has a hilarious piece in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal entitled The Perfect Stimulus: Bad Management.

Here’s an excerpt of his “argument:”

Imagine a parallel universe where employees enjoy going to work. They feel empowered and fulfilled—so much so that they don’t care about the size of their paychecks and never want to leave their jobs. That’s exactly the sort of nightmare scenario that would destroy the economy. The last thing this world needs is a bunch of dopey-happy workers who can’t stop humming and grinning. Our system requires a continuous supply of highly capable people who are so disgruntled with their jobs that they are willing to chew off their own arms to escape their bosses. The economy needs hamster-brained sociopaths in management to drive down the opportunity cost of entrepreneurship. Luckily, we’re blessed with an ample supply.