Bad Boss, Good Boss – 4 Types of Bosses and What To Do About It

Workplace

Because we spend so much time at our jobs, our interactions with our bosses can really shape us both personally and professionally. People leave jobs because the company doesn’t offer much growth or there’s a better option somewhere else. But the other major reason people quit their jobs is because they have a bad boss.

As you consider whether it’s time for you to make a move, it’s helpful to understand what kind of boss you have and how that impacts you.

1. Leader.

Ideally you have some version of a good leader. But not all leadership qualities in bosses are the same. Some leaders are visionary or team coaches. Some are more like a trainer at the gym. Leaders come in different formats, and some are easier to work with than others, depending on both your personality and their. A boss who is a leader knows he has gaps – and counts on his team to fill them in. Don’t write off the boss that encourages and truly seeks to empower and inspire, even if that boss doesn’t excel in every component of leadership. Round out the team and stick with the boss who possesses leadership qualities.

2. Clueless Puppet.

In many ways, this would be your Michael Scott from The Office; however, he really wanted his staff to love him, well, except for Toby. The puppet is controlled by the desire to look good and do whatever upper management wants. While conformance is necessary, a boss that is never interested in pushing back and asking why will merely give you years of experience on your resume but never actually provide you with tangible results to speak about during your next interview. All you will be able to say is that you did what was asked of you and stuck it out. This type of boss is also puts your promotions at risk because they never actually have your back and often take credit for your work.

3. Superhero.

Superheroes might not always start out as a bad boss when first promoted, but they can grow into a draining personality to those around them. Bosses who consider themselves superheroes will eventually think that no one else does anything as well. They can grow into an arrogant boss who micromanages employees, or a seagull manager who flies in, leaves some unwelcome feedback, and flies out. Superheroes are also prone to photobomb your personal accomplishments because they literally think that their team cannot function without them. Perhaps you can stick around a superhero and learn what made them successful because usually, they didn’t get promoted by chance. If you are not noticed and promoted in one to three years, the work environment will take its toll. Superheroes put in long hours, and it can feed your inner insecurities about how much time you need to be putting in for success too.

4. Bossy Boss.

The boss who loses perspective about the role of leadership and how to interact with people is rarely the boss you want to work for every day. Your boss may not be as bad as Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, but someone who reminds you that you are less than them on the totem pole and enjoys bossing people around will not seek to grow your career or care about you as a person. Focus on getting the job done and meeting or exceeding expectations, and then work on your resume in your spare time. A boss who belittles people with their tone, demeanor, and/or words will diminish your sense of self worth over time and make it harder to transition in the future.

Take some time to understand if you have a boss who you can excel under or if your career is suffering under a bad boss. If you have a bad boss, it is often wise to find the exit. Don’t wait until your office starts to remind you of Office Space. If your boss gives a report the acronym TPS, becomes relentless about receiving it, and someone steals your red stapler – get out while you still can.

Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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