Bad Bosses: The Job Blob


“We have three sales update calls per week so we can update your pipeline.”

“Any proposals that you send out need to go across my desk.”

“If you are meeting with a client, let me know so that I can be there.”

If you read these sentences and immediately thought “micromanager,” you would be half right. While micromanagers generally get a bad rap, there is something far worse: A Job Blob!

What is a job blob?

Read on to learn who they are and why you need to avoid them at all costs.

A candidate of mine recently joined a company with some very promising technology and he was excited to share this with his customer network. From the interview process, he understood that his new boss was very process oriented and liked details. He had worked for similar managers in the past and had been successful. However, upon starting with the company, my candidate discovered that this was not quite the case…

His new boss wasn’t a micromanager…he was a job blob. This manager wasn’t managing, he was doing the job of the candidate.

A job blob is someone who absorbs the tactical work of those around them, taking ownership for things that are not their responsibility, and seeks all credit.

This situation carries substantial risk for the company, the manager and the candidate. By definition, someone is redundant and one job isn’t getting done.

Job blobs tend to do this for a couple of different reasons:

  • They are victims of the Peter Principle (employees tend to rise in the hierarchy of an organization until they reach the level of their respective incompetence).

  • They are insecure and fearful that they will be displaced by one of their direct reports.

  • Organizational stress, perhaps due to financial health or impending acquisition, triggers a response of hyper-responsibility where delegation disappears.

In no case can job blobs, or their reports, find true success as their actions undermine organizational development and growth. Reports find themselves in a lose-lose situation of either addressing the issue with their supervisor, who may be defensive, or abdicating their responsibilities. Managers who have become job blobs hurt their organization because they are not fulfilling the requirements of the role while at the same time demotivating their team.

If you find yourself trying to be absorbed by a job blob, it is imperative that you communicate clearly, directly, and immediately that the work you are tasked with is your responsibility and that you are in control of the product of your work.

Many times the act of pointing this out and owning your work will curtail future transgressions. However, if this does not occur, talk with HR or the blob’s supervisor as the situation will not be sustainable and can have very real negative impacts on your morale and career path.

Written byAustin Meyermann, Founder and President of Hunter Crown, LLC

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