We must agree that Parents, Teachers and Bosses play a very important role in our lives. Each has the power to mould or mar our life. And just like life sometimes hands you a lemon, it will also deal you a Bad Boss. And you can run but never hide from these:
An Insecure Boss
This Boss wants to ensure that he always remains the boss of you. He will never fully train you. He will always have some secret process that you will never know thus requiring his ‘guidance’ when you are stuck. I had once known a Manager who used to put passwords on all critical folders so that his team can never solve a puzzle without him and when he goes on leave (which was very rare), his team would get temporary access and once he is back, he would change all the passwords.
This Manager thinks that you can do nothing by yourself. He thinks you lack the will and skill. So he will tell you how to draw a straight line and then he will watch you while you do it. He seems to follow you everywhere like the invisible “You & I” puppy dog in the Hutch ads. Except that he might not be as cute.
Mr. Do it Myself
Usually this Manager is found under the coating of being a perfectionist or being very passionate about his work. So he doesn’t trust anyone but himself and doesn’t delegate. While he can be a very good role model, unfortunately you have to learn swimming by simply watching him swim which may be difficult considering he keeps you out of water.
As they say an argumentative partner is better than an indifferent one. This boss is busy in his own work (mostly emails) and he doesn’t know what you are up to and doesn’t care too.
30,000 feet boss
This boss will talk big. He will give you a 30000 feet view of changing the world. But when you ask for clarity on how to get there, you will be handed an orange. Go figure. Don’t get me wrong, they are very strategic but they lack clarity of thought on execution. And you will be left connecting the dots between the orange and the miracle.
The Auditor gene
This boss confuses his job description with that of an Auditor all the time. He thinks they will learn with his criticism not knowing that the way our brain works is that when someone is violently criticizing us, our brain considers it as an attack and our animal instincts kick in. We shut down our prefrontal cortex which is used for thinking and processing information and only opt for fight or flight. Of course you will later be criticized for not taking the feedback (read criticism) well.
You are fired
This boss thinks he has the He-Man’s Power Sword in these golden words ‘You will be fired’. It’s an answer to every problem. That’s how he gets his work done. That’s how he gets his team to perform and that’s how he gets people to ‘respect’ him.
The Pseudo politician
This guy is heavily into politics and by that we mean driving his personal agenda and power. He imagines he runs a kingdom and his praja needs to please him. “What’s the big deal if he had to pick up my wife from the airport or take my dog for a walk. I also take care of my seniors”
This Boss has a lot of clarity about who are his birth children and who are adopted. Some good deals will get booked in others while you will be given some tough accounts to crack. Others will be allowed to go on leave while you will be told ‘Why do you need leave, your sister is getting married, not you’.
This Boss has probably got where he is because he has technical knowledge. However he has no leadership skills. Your workload will be high because he can’t say No to his stakeholders. He will not be able to bat for you when required in front of his Boss. Result your work will be invisible to others and you will learn how to be the unsung hero.
This George doesn’t understand that you have some human qualities too. If your prayers evoke the Brahma who himself appears and grants you the wish to meet your target, your boss will look at you and say ‘Great job. Now get me 10 more’
So this blog is not just for us to relate it with some of our Managers but to think about which of these qualities do we unknowingly possess as a Manager or a Wannabe Manager. I can think of 3 that I might be guilty of.