How to Be an Awful Manager

Meeting of the Minds

This is one of those cartoons where this pretty much happened and I just wrote it down.

I was working at a smallish company where my manager was a real go-getter. Actually, he was more of a manic control freak. OK, he was a nutjob, and he really really wanted to impress his supervisors.

He’d take on unbelievable amounts of work, and, inevitably, not be able to follow through on his promises. That’s where I came in. I got to clean up a lot of messes under the premise of a “special project” only I could be trusted with.

For a while I genuinely wanted to help out, but after watching his reputation and stature grow, and a few reviews without more than a “Mark is a fine employee,” I wrote this cartoon for a little self-therapy.

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Mark Anderson, professional cartoonist

About the Author: Mark Anderson’s cartoons appear in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Anderson is the creator of the popular cartoon website,, where he licenses his cartoons for presentations, newsletters and other projects. He blogs at Andertoons cartoon blog.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

8 Reactions
  1. Mark,

    I am glad to hear that you have used your cartoons for self-therapy. Venting the steam, heh? 😉

  2. Great cartoon, and far more true than many bosses would want to admit! Thanks for the smile. Keep ’em coming!

  3. As usual, you make me howl, Mark! This is so funny, and I agree with Lorne Pike “far more true than many bosses want to admit.”

  4. Oh, that’s a good one! If only everyone would be that honest about it.

  5. I LOVE THIS CARTOON! It really resonates with me and made me laugh out loud.

  6. Rock on! Gotta love people like that. Might as well let them have the credit. I’ve moved on.

  7. Mark, the others are right. You have nailed it. I guess it is human nature to want to be acknowledged for things you do. And if you don’t do much, then you have to find a way to get that credit somehow!

  8. A person with a silver tongue that exhibits the power of fluent and persuasive speech can greatly coat your actual abilities, which is one of the traits that make a great manager or employer and makes it easier to hire the ones suitable for the position. Great Cartoon!