The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The good, bad and ugly

Sound ’n’ fury

The screamer boss seems to think that he will get his way if he raises his voice to an unconscionable level. How does a screamer end up as a boss? Some clueless hiring managers equate screaming with managerial skills. All in all, screamers just want to know that they’re being heard, and they want recognition. If you can get along with your screamer boss, and gain his respect and trust, perhaps you can help guide him to lower tones.

Fear factor

People do what a “fearsome” boss says because they’re afraid of him, which actually encourages further intimidation. He always threatens, and he constantly follows through with that threat in order to keep his employees acquiescent. This boss has a high turnover rate as he fires employees to keep up the fear factor, and good employees leave him, refusing to work for such an ogre. A fearsome boss cannot last. Eventually, he will burn out every employee, and an organisation’s bottom line cannot sustain the costs involved.

The manipulator

Also known as the Machiavellian boss, this type is extremely intelligent and one of the most dangerous. The manipulator boss is highly focussed, very motivated, and always has a secret plan. He looks at people as a means to an end. The world is a giant pyramid and the apex is his. People he touches or runs over on the way to the top are casualties he writes off. If you work for a manipulator, watch your back. Your best bet is to be open and honest with him. Volunteer information. Your boss, who has long forgotten what truth is, will be left impressed by it.

Busy bee

He is someone who impulsively demands control over situations and then cuts off your answer in two minutes because he doesn’t have the time to discuss it. He frequently asks you to write reports on your progress, but will rarely remember that he’s asked. The two-minute boss constantly gives the impression that he is way too busy to bother with details. His head is always somewhere else — somewhere more important. Working for this boss is an exercise in the art of speaking concisely. Try to fit everything you have to say in a two-minute time frame, and see what happens.

Power crazy

He is a true megalomaniac. You’ll notice the engraved gold plate on his office door, desk, and chair proclaiming his rank. He might take outrageous liberties like having an employee clean his car. When you question him, he’ll just point to the gold plates. Rest assured that his cloak of power hides great incompetence. How to get along with a god boss? Humour him. Follow his rules, and create the illusion you’re doing things his way. Remember, he’ll never control your mind.

Mr Bumble

The bumbling boss is the dunce of the bosses. The best way to deal with a bumbling boss is to help him get promoted. When they get promoted, they are notorious for promoting people underneath them. Besides, sooner than later, executives will see your boss for the dunce that he is, and he’ll be shipped off somewhere else.

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