You can say the same about active shooters. That is, I agree with your position: we can stand being more compassionate about bad bosses. Yet, we need to be aware of not infantilizing powerholders who have incredibly enabled to take out their frustration, depression, and malaise on employees.

As someone who has coached many managers and driven org changes, I would say many bad managers are so because they’re are allowed by their bad leaders. Moreover, they let their own self-interest, fear (sometimes legitimate but just often just personal cowardice), incuriosity , and— yes, genuine feelings of being lost — deliberately or unintentionally undermine others.

I define “bad boss” as anywhere between poorly organized to doesn’t provide the team cover to gives unconstructive feedback to stealing credit for work to sexually harassing to bullying.

Bad bosses can cause depression, anxiety, and trauma; can be career detailing and incredibly harmful to marginalized people. We need to remember that bad biases impact people’s personal lives and risks their livelihood.

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