I have been fortunate to have worked with 13 different bosses in a short span of 8 years (am still working for my bread and butter); each one with a very different work style and approach to work, people & authority.
The article below is a crux of what these people are like, what ticks them, how to get along and especially decide which one you want to work with. There might be cases where you would argue that a person belongs to two classes but then it’s the dominant trait that should be considered for classification.
These guys are right out of Hollywood movies. They are confident, smart, and smooth; Smooth like oil on ice. Charmers are neatly dressed and are quick with smile. They have good command over language both spoken & written and are extroverts.
It requires great skill to corner a charmer on anything. Also there are very few people who can resist getting charmed by them. Charmers make it a point to consistently cut across departments and talk to people. A charmer will make people feel comfortable with their presence. There is a lot of communication within and outside department when there is a charmer in the leading seat.
Charmers appreciate good work and encourage value addition. It’s very easy to work with them.
Charmers have high need for appreciation & acknowledgement making them winners in anything they do.
Working under (you can’t work with them but always under them) a dictator is like getting trained in Marine Corps. They don’t have much respect for manners, etiquette or dressing as the single mindedness of task overshadows everything else. It’s their way or their way!
People at large see them as hardworking but ruthless assholes. Dictators are known for mood swings and people are usually uncomfortable with a dictator on the floor. No wonder dictators find it difficult to make new friends. During their term communication is purpose driven rather than an inherent culture. People would often limit any kind of confrontation with the dictator.
Dictators like detailing and expect their instructions to be carried out as they said. They don’t have much need for value addition as they are often self obsessed.
As dictators are objective driven they ensure everything falls in place. If you survive a dictator chances are you will do well in life. Early in my career one of my bosses said – either you will shape up or run away, am glad I chose to go through the grind.
They are lovely souls. One would like to be friends with them even outside working hrs. They are intelligent, humble, open to ideas and respect people both above and below them in the food chain. They want to keep their team members in good spirit but are often bullied by targets.
People see them as well educated, well dressed and well mannered reasonable guys who can be trusted. They encourage constructive confrontation and work towards solving problems. Gentlemen will create and maintain good working environment. They flow with the system rather than define or oppose it.
Gentlemen due to their nature are often bullied with targets. They are enablers and one need to work with gentlemen to create success stories. It’s you who will define the degree of success with them.
Gentlemen make good mentors and give you a lot of exposure and opportunities.
They are concerned about just one thing, their survival! Survivors believe in playing down, they are calculative, manipulative and try to avoid any kind of confrontation. They like to stay back and hold the cards opening them only when required. Survivors are gifted with excellent sense of timing, they know what is to be said to whom and when. They are very good at managing people and their egos.
Survivors never appear threatening. They want to be in the good books of the boss and would be friendly with anyone who is. They will not stand for any major change but keep moving in and out for trivial matters just to show their engagement. Survivors will encourage all ideas that will make them look good; be sure to let them have credit for the idea as they are the one who groomed it!
If faced with a survivor, you need to reach out to the main boss and build alliances with superiors, chances are the survivor will let you live and grow albeit under their guidance.
May Lord bless you if you are stuck with one of them. They are good & intelligent people but with a different skill set not suited for the current role. They lack confidence and depend on others for every small decision. The mute does show signs of being a survivor but does not possess the soft skills required. Their team members suffer from uncertainty. The boss is too shy to take any stand and hence almost everyone becomes a boss.
Working with a mute can be really frustrating as they cannot offer any commitment to your training, career, skill development etc. However the mute can teach you some good skills, do look out for these.
Your fate is tied to your boss’s fate and to your boss’s boss in the case of a mute. You not only need to come up with good work but also convince the mute to push for good ideas. Don’t risk their exposure and build the relationship with small achievements. Empathy can help you understand the mute.
Promote them before they promote themselves. These bosses believe they are ready for the next big move. They move with authority and are masters of their game. They start looking for and grabbing additional opportunities/ responsibilities. They could come up with ideas and suggestions to help improve processes or create new business opportunities. Their subordinates enjoy freedom, take decisions and are groomed to take up their role as they move out.
The napoleon believes in building bridges they have to move up. They would like to be seen as people’s person ready to give them a better career.
A napoleon expects you to rise up to the occasion and handle additional responsibility. This is the perfect time to work hard and assume the role of a boss. Help the boss achieve their next jump and you will achieve yours.
Now this species of boss is becoming extinct faster than the Yeti’s in Himalayas!
They are super intelligent, well read yet humble. They radiate with positivity and chose to look at the positive side of things. Leaders don’t have time for cribbers and look at grooming people who are willing to change things. They don’t believe in status quo. They can easily move up or down ones intellect level to forge a bond and are well connected to the people right from the juniors to seniors.
The entire organization gets united under the leader; everyone has a sense of purpose bigger than their own personal roles. The leader is easy to approach and open to suggestions. In fact you can reason with a leader and if you reason well chances are the leader will listen.
Working under a leader is a learning experience, try to maximize it. State your goals clearly and the leader shall help you achieve it. For them attitude is everything rest all can be taught.
At the end I would like to sum up as your boss is also an emotional being, as far as possible try and support the boss to make them a hero coz “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind – Mahatma Gandhi”.