We're All Sick of Hearing What it Takes To Be A Model Employee
What about the other way around?
People often try and find out the qualities of a top employee (see 8 Things Exceptional Employees Do) in our quest to stand out in the workplace. Google 'great employee' and you'll get a list of articles as long as the earth's orbit around the sun on how to be a great employee.
But here are some lousy manager personalities that everyone loves to hate.
1. The Lousy Team Captain
...doesn't inspire, can't motivate and never leads by example.
Nobody likes to be told what they cannot do and what they should do. Instead, everybody yearns to be inspired, motivated and led.
One example of the lousy team captain is managers who expect their subordinates to hit targets without letting them know what's in it for them.
Worst of all, they skive at the job themselves and some run for the exit at 5.30pm sharp when their team is still slaving away, trying to hit yesterday's deadline.
2. The Every-Man-For-Himself
...leaves you in the lurch when times are bad.
Regardless of how uncertain the company's business is or should the company be in financial trouble, a manager ought not to leave his staff in the dark. They must be transparent, taking the initiative to educate them about the company's management and providing counsel where necessary.
In the worst-case scenario, a manager has to break the difficult news to a staff that he or she is being let go, be it performance reasons or retrenchment. A good manager would be truthful to their staff even if it means delivering the hard truth, while being sensitive and sympathetic to their feelings.
Every-Man-For-Himself, on the other hand, seeks to covers his own back first. If there could only be one person on the lifeboat, it's him and no one else.
3. The Miser
...doesn't reward employee efforts, and takes credit for their ideas.
Ever heard of people who pass their work appraisals with flying colours but for some strange reason, were not given a pay hike or promotion? While most people would expect a raise or promotion after some years of service, some are simply too shy to put themselves forward and would rather plug away at the same routine, god forbid they ever ask for a raise.
Behold The Miser, who happily laps up the credit for his team's work, never recommending A for a promotion or pushing higher management to give B the credit she deserved for that great idea that brought in 20% more sales than last quarter.
No, he's too busy taking the credit for himself!
4. The Slave Driver
...extends their staff's job scope further than a rubber band can stretch.
Do your work, and do it faster. Write up this report now because I wanted it yesterday. Fax this, print that. Get so-and-so to do this by 3pm. What? Too last minute? Tell them it was my instruction. And where's that report I asked for five minutes ago?
Slave drivers usually come with a hot temper to boot. These are the ones whose department is likely to bond out of misery: their common fear and dislike of the manager.
Unfortunately, some companies retain managers like these simply because they get the job done by being pushy, demanding and in short, a big bully.
5. The Nervous Wreck
...always gives instructions at the last minute.
People don't generally mind doing more, but they mind the unnecessary tension that come with last-minute instructions, especially those that could be avoided with better planning.
Last minute instructions are probaby part and parcel of business in general but it sure doesn't help when your manager's a nervous wreck to boot.
Worst of all, The Nervous Wreck fumbles up as a result of his own frenzied nerves and long-suffering staff under him have to clean up his mess.
6. The Control Freak Manager
...wants to know when you leave your desk, what for and for how long
Ever been questioned by your manager when you spent 10 minutes longer in the pantry, chatting with another colleague?
While every job has its own detailed routine, the Control Freak is beyond meticulous. Going beyond the employee's job scope, he even corrects email grammar. Unless you were hired as the company editor, that could be really annoying.
7. The Frog in the Well
"If I'm not going anywhere, then neither are you."
The Frog in the Well manager is happy with his position and would do anything to maintain that status quo.
He's happy with his team and wants things to stay the way they are, in that comfort zone. You can dream on regarding him advancing in his career in order for someone else to be promoted. To make matters worse, he's sure not helping anybody advance in their careers for fear that he'd lose any form of support. If he could, he'd keep his most able staff where they are i.e. under his supervision forever.
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(price as of Apr 26, 2015)
Being saddled with an awful manager can turn even the best job into the worst nightmare. This book provides practical advice for dealing with bosses from the know-nothing sort to the corporate backstabber, even at recognizing them during the interview stage.
All things said and done, if things do not get better at work, the most important thing is still to stay professional. After all, your skill set matters more than your position at the company. In the worst case scenario that you have to find another job, it could be a blessing in disguise.