Skip to main content
Stanley Bing

How to deal with your crazy boss

Fortune's Stanley Bing shares his take on the five types of crazy bosses, and some strategies for dealing with one, from "Crazy Bosses" (Harper Collins).

Symptoms
Stanley Bing, author: Hey. What am I doing here.
The narcissist
Symptoms
  • Default emotion: emptiness. Think of a vast, blank wall that can be temporarily sprayed with any available can of paint, the prevailing color being the one most recently employed.
  • Incapable of viewing others as real creatures with needs discrete from his or her own, consequently has no problem using others for any purpose that furthers his or her desires, up to and including their destruction, for which he or she will feel no remorse. Remorse in general not a strong suit.
  • Bipolar internal landscape, vacillates between delusions of grandeur, during which time he or she may be quite pleasant, even "happy," and abject depression brought about by feelings of inadequacy and unimportance. At such times, may appear paranoid or mutate into hard-to-handle bully. Prone to terrible rage or suicidal self-pity when this artificial cosmic construct (with his or her self at the center) is contradicted by ample evidence to the contrary.
  • Bold and heedless in the face of danger; highly imaginative, given to flights of fancy fueled by lack of any instinct for self-doubt, during which any and all ideas will be perceived as brilliant, even inevitable, no matter how lame.
  • Capable of great generosity and random acts of kindness, because they make him feel good about himself and justify his egocentric worldview.
  • Zero attention span, concentration of a small child.
  • Most used word: "I." Second most used word: "Me."
  • Contagion factor: 34 (not enough oxygen in the room). Narcissists make for great viewing, but you rarely want to be one of them.
  • Level of difficulty: 45. For those unwilling to suck up: 96.

Tell us about your crazy boss
Is your boss heading for a self-made disaster? Scared of his own shadow? Just plain weird? Share your insane workplace story.
ExecutricksThe central question of every hardworking person's career is how to work less hard while still being able to buy an expensive bottle of wine without trembling. The answer is simple: Retire while still working! (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.