BossholismA response from a faithful reader about yesterday’s post got me thinking about the nature of Bossholism. The funny thing is that Bossholes aren’t that way to everyone, just to subordinates and other unworthies.

After all, Steve Jobs was infamous for being a Bosshole but he had tremendous empathy for customers. In fact the foundation of Apple’s brilliance was his dedication to making products that customers would love, just not jobs that employees would love.

Bossholes are also very nice to their bosses and other employees at higher levels in the organization. And in fact they also might be nice to their families (although I have a hard time believing that Mr Wonderful is just that with his family.)

What is it then that makes a person a Bosshole to some and a Mr Wonderful to others? How can people regulate their emotional intelligence in such a way as to be perfect at some times and a jerk at others?

Since EI is so hard to develop I can only conclude that it is a form of discrimination that causes Bossholes to lack empathy for certain classes of people. The really puzzling thing though is that if Bossholism is tolerated at work, then work is tolerating discrimination.

Workplaces wouldn’t tolerate discrimination against other sexes, other races, or other religions. Why then does it tolerate discrimination by Bossholes against subordinates. Very puzzling.