10 Things a Boss Should Never Do

If they want to inspire people and earn respect

Max Klein
7 min readMar 22, 2021


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“Check your phone and call in once a day if you can,” he said.

“Really? Operations just can’t proceed without me?” I thought. They could. We weren’t curing cancer or anything. And this was paid vacation. I was with my family. In Mexico!

I just needed a break from…that!

My boss didn’t realize that unless it’s of critical importance, he should leave employees alone on vacation…and weekends if possible. If employees are always plugged into to work they never feel mentally off long enough to recharge.

And a person not recharged is a person that eventually burns out.

So I just stopped responding in a timely manner to things that I deemed not worth not swimming with my kids for.

He should have said “We’ve got it! You go relax with your family. Only if we really need something we’ll bother you, but we’ll try our best not to.”

That’s what most people I know would rather hear from their bosses as they head out for vacation. Not “check your phone.”

Here are some other things a good boss shouldn’t do if they want to be respected and keep employees motivated.

1. Don’t Manage With “Death by Policy”

A new rule or policy doesn’t have to be created everytime someone messes up. This is shotgun corrective action. It’s like when a boss says “some of you” did whatever bad thing while speaking to the whole group. It’s lazy. It’s an overreaction. It’s bureaucratic thinking.

Instead, counsel the person individually who had the problem — in private.

Policy or a new “rule” should only be used to address a widespread, systemic, and substantial problems. Not little stuff that can be handled by just plain managing.

Plus, this shotgun approach to correcting someone’s actions is highly unmotivating to people who didn’t mess up.

Be targeted in critique and praise.

2. Don’t Anger Easily

Mark Twain said:

“Getting angry is easy. Anyone can do that. But…