Do Pea-Brained Managers Launch Entrepreneurs?

If you’re longing to go out on your own, bag the day job and start your own business, what’re the motivating factors? I suspect they might be:

1.      Setting your own hours and controlling your schedule.

2.      Doing something you love.

3.      Making a boatload of money (really?)

4.      Working in your sweats

I think there’s a much bigger impetus – the pea-brained boss. They’re probably responsible for thousands of newly-formed entrepreneurs. “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams summed it up nicely in a Wall Street Journal article, “The Perfect Stimulus: Bad Management.” When he started out in corporate life, as Adams put it, “Though most of my immediate bosses were entirely reasonable and competent, the organization at large was riddled with hamster-brained sociopaths in leadership roles.” A bit exaggerated, but that’s why he gets the big bucks as a cartoonist. But it is absolutely true!

Because I’m a freelance independent contractor, I probably know more folks like me – in business for themselves. But I also know tons of people who have a side job, are starting a business or going back to school for a career change. It isn’t just leaving the rat race that is a motivator; in most cases they can cite pea-brained management. A recent example my friend shared sounds like a familiar tactic. Her immediate boss, who is a decent manager, was trying to get a policy change to go through. The bigger boss didn’t agree. So my friend, who is very astute, realized she had just been thrown under the bus for the manager to make a point. Oh, and yes, she’s been actively growing her own business on the side.

But Adams makes a great point, by making workers crazy; bosses are in fact growing the economy. Those very workers are the ones who will leave and go on to have very successful businesses of their own!

So, if you have a pea-brained boss, go stick your head in his office and thank him. He’ll be scratching his head all day trying to figure out why.

This is a post by Jobacle team member Nancy LaFever.

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