A Bad Apple Can’t Lead The Orchard

Developers are known for their cynicism and grumpiness. Sometimes, it’s even treated as a sign of merit–you’re not a real “senior developer” before you grow your get-off-my-lawn, that’s-never-gonna-work attitude.

Yes, experience usually comes with a bit of pessimism – fewer deadlines missed, less over-committing. But that surely doesn’t mean you should accept bitterness and outright snide. Those make for an unpleasant work environment where the junior staff are afraid to voice opinions and concerns.

Even worse is when those snarky people are given management roles. When it’s ok for your boss to bad mouth the CEO and CTO behind their backs constantly, it becomes ok for everyone. Discussions become a shooting match – who can shoot down the most ideas and suggestions? Everyone on the team either bring out their inner cynic, or become disengaged.

Before you know it, you have a poisonous culture where nothing new and novel gets done. And you can’t blame the team – in these issues as with most, you should look at the manager first. All because of one bad apple that was given too much leeway.

By not taking action against such behavior, you are effectively condoning it. Just as the team will follow their manager’s behavior, so will your lack of action translate into approval. Stop it, and whatever you do, don’t let these people gain more responsibility in your company.

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