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The Ten Most Cowardly Things A Manager Can Do

Source | Forbes-com  |  BY:Liz Ryan , CONTRIBUTOR

Dear Liz,

I was interested by your mention of getting “bushwhacked” at a business lunch because I had that exact experience eight years ago.

I had a good relationship with my boss “Dan.”

We joked and talked about all different subjects. Dan often told me how happy he was that he hired me.

I almost choked. It was a complete shock. Dan kept talking. He said they were doing a strategic realignment process and my job was being eliminated.

I got a month of severance which certainly helped, but the shock and disappointment affected me for a long time after that incident. I was the only person in our department who was let go.

Three or four years later I ran into one of my ex-colleagues when we both rented cottages at the same lake. He told me the back story.

He said “You were a very good co-worker, but your job was never a real job.

“They had to do a ton of market research to put a complicated pitch together, and you were the perfect person to do it. They gave you some other projects that had been lying around neglected and you did a great job with them, too.

“Once they had the blueprint for the campaign that got them the huge new client, they didn’t need you.”

In other words, my boss Dan had known since before he hired me that I would only be working for him for less than a year. He could have hired me on a contract.


I would have done it for the same sum that I ended up getting paid because it was great experience, but Dan didn’t give me that option.

I will admit that the experience with Dan made me gun shy and I am still much more skeptical of any job opportunity than I was before. Thanks for your work, Liz!



Dear Kyra,

We get wounded and then scar tissue forms over the wound. Painful experiences make us tougher and smarter, too.

Dan was a wimp and a sleazeball in his dealings with you but he was a great teacher, too.

He could have been honest with you, but he was too fearful. A lot of folks have that problem.

Dan did one of the worst things a manager can do by bushwhacking you in a public place. Now he must live with his shame. Forget about Dan — he is beneath your notice now!

Here are the 10 most cowardly things a manager can do:


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