Are there any advantages of working for a Strict boss?


In general, employees seem to prefer enthusiastic bosses. Bosses with a great sense of empathy and a good listening ear. Or those who let go of the reins every now and then for a thriving company. “Soft” attributes such as listening, support, enthusiasm and empathy among managers are generally most appreciated. Moreover, when employees are asked what characteristics their ideal boss should have, these things invariably come up.strict boss

On the other hand: is ruling with a strict hand still functional in today’s business world?  That could be as, in practice, it appears that leaders who act a bit harshly at times could be more effective than leaders who do not. So, are there any advantages to working for a strict boss? Read more and see for yourself.

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Intimidating management style

Here are the surprising results of a survey done recently. Research from the UK Institute of Leadership & Management of 1,500 managers shows that leaders who are not afraid to act firmly achieve the best results and are also more appreciated by their staff. In addition, qualities such as perseverance and being demanding are perceived as more important than communication skills or enthusiasm.

They even found serious evidence that employees work harder when an intimidating management style is used. Its conclusion: employees enjoy strict management, it makes them work harder. A strict boss, not so bad after all?

The first who can say something about this is a former Commander of the Armed Forces. At the age of 35, he directed a company of 125 men and if it is strict anywhere, it is in the army. Or not?


consistency‘Most certainly not,’ he says. And this is because most people will associate sternly or strictly with cold, numb, and authoritarian. But be aware that it is also consistent, fair and clear. You really benefit from the latter and I can agree with that. The military can be very democratic. Everyone can have a say, but you do not always have a say. It is our belief that you shouldn’t always delegate and thus run away from your own responsibility. And you will certainly need people to follow orders in the armed forces, so you better find out what is the best way of achieving that. After all, it could be a matter of life and death.


A psychologist researched intractable leadership. According to him, a leader who behaves predictably in a relational field works very well, especially for companies employing professionals. ‘And an obscure, predictable boss ensures less absenteeism among his employees.’ This became apparent during his research from figures from various companies over a period of seven years. “Apparently a good relationship with your boss reduces frustration and increases motivation.”

And can you learn to be such a manager? ‘During the research, I asked myself the question: is it more skill or is it a personality issue?’ And it is to a large extent that second. That does not mean that it cannot be fine-tuned at all, but the basis must be in order. ‘

Be strict with yourself

Mark Blaisse wrote the book ‘Boss above Boss’. He portrayed great leaders. ‘Being a strict leader only makes sense ifboss above boss it provides clarity. ‘And you also have to be able to make strict agreements with yourself. In addition, being strict without a little empathy doesn’t work. It must be a combination of reward and punishment. Also important: don’t play a role, get to know yourself well and be sincere in what you tell your staff. ‘ A bit like in the armed forces I think.

It is ok to be harsh with your employees, but you need to be honest and just to them. In this way, employees will know what to expect from management and will appreciate it at the same time.

Disadvantages of strict bosses

Here is the other side of the coin. Bosses often make the mistake of burdening employees with many tasks and tight deadlines. This creates a performance-oriented work environment with stressed staff as a result. It has become clear that more and more studies show that a too-strict approach is detrimental to the productivity of employees. On the other hand, a positive work climate, headed by a relaxed and empathetic boss, leads to motivated and satisfied employees who automatically perform better.

Poor health

health problems at workThis is what can happen with a strict boss at the head of a company. As a result, employees will be sick more quickly and more often. This is substantiated on the basis of an American study conducted at Harvard Business School and Stanford University. The study shows that people with stressful jobs run a higher risk of dying prematurely. A Swedish study at the Karolinska Institute, on the other hand, shows that the heart complaints of more than three thousand Europeans can be linked to the bad management of a boss.

Laid off

A third consequence of too strict an approach is that employees drop out emotionally. This is underlined by figures from research firm Gallup, which is active all over the world. In other words, if the boss creates too much stress or anxiety, the employees become less engaged and their productivity decreases. Their relationship with the job has been disrupted and they make about 60 percent more mistakes than employees who are happy. According to this research, the dissatisfaction eventually results in a dismissal. It was revealed that the number of spontaneous redundancies increased by about 50 percent in a toxic work environment.


I think that working for a particular boss and feeling happy about it, is purely up to the individual employee. Somefind out about yurself of us work best with coaching leadership and there are others who will thrive in a more strict environment. So, it is up to each one of us to discover the real you and the best working circumstances for ourselves. Do this exercise and become happy at work.

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4 thoughts on “Are there any advantages of working for a Strict boss?”

  1. Excellent article!
    This was very thought-provoking and I am in awe of how multi-faceted and open-minded this post is for a few reasons.

    First and foremost, you are unafraid to beg the question of the correlation between strict bosses and worker productivity. Second, you point out that stricter bosses make staff more appreciative and spark greater work productivity in employees who respect the authority. Last but not least, you emphasize how strictness needs clarity and at least a little bit of empathy.

    Everyone deserves to feel happy and respected. This article gave me an entirely different, fresh, and unique perspective of what it means to be strict and why being authentic with yourself, for any profession, is your best bet. Thanks!

    • In a conversation last weekend, someone in the group remarked that he could not get himself to work from home, as he would lack the discipline to do so for a long time. Leaders need to recognize that some employees need more attention than others.

  2. l agree with the survey result that leaders who are not afraid to act firmly achieve the best results and are also more appreciated by their staff and I believe that’s because many employees prefer to be supervised,micro managed an told what to do. This is however not always good for the organization. There must be a balance that will make everyone happy. Thanks for this post.

    • We are not all the same and thus there will be persons who will need stern leadership. There will be others and maybe a minority who like to have some form of freedom to do with the rules and within the orders given. People better find out for themselves.


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