Work long enough and you’re bound to have a bad manager. Unfortunately, they don’t work one way. They can be aggressive, careless, encouraging, or just plain incompetent. And not all of them were bad to begin with. The very strategies and skills that may have made them star performers can make them difficult to work with.
Lawrese Brown, the founder of C-Track Training, a workplace education company, said bad bosses who were star performers “follow the ‘I’m doing my job really well’ script, but they don’t. not realize that their job has changed and they must change too. “
The first step in countering bad behavior from a boss is to identify how he operates. Here are the most common types of incompetent leaders who think they are, in fact, good bosses.
1) The lifeguard
He’s a bad boss who may seem like a good boss at first. If you have any issues with a project, they’ll just take over. Any conflict with a client, he will take care of it for you.
Consultant Peter Block identified this archetype of work as the “lifesaver” in his book “The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work”. According to Block, the rescuer is a very sensitive person to discomfort and who believes that “the path to power, influence and control is to save the lives of other people.”
Brown said lifeguards come from a place where they think they are protecting you from failure and are bad at giving you honest feedback and more responsibility as a result.
“When you have a lifeguard, they pride themselves on being there to support you, so you really don’t have room to not only make mistakes, but you also have limited growth,” Brown said. “Because part of the rescue or their help is a control mechanism for them.”
2) the politician
The “politician” is good at dealing with the bosses above them and terrible at dealing with the people who report directly to them. They are good at public relations for your team, but they lack the willpower or skill to be a good team leader.
“The management team thinks that your team is doing a good job, that your projects are rented out to all the hands of the company … but in reality, this manager never meets you, never gives you useful feedback, nor even at all involved in the day. today, ”said Lara Hogan, author of“ Resilient Management ”and former vice president of engineering at Kickstarter.
Hogan said this type of boss can cause bigger problems down the road as they tend not to uncover team issues that should have been addressed or raised earlier. “In the long run it often ends in disaster because this person has never taken on their primary responsibility, which is to manage the team,” Hogan said.
His advice if you are an employee of this kind of boss? Make sure to build relationships with your manager’s peers, or other people in positions of power, and reach out to them for feedback and support. The goal is for more people to know what a great job you are doing. “Distribute the acreage the way you’re run,” Hogan advised.
3) The great manager who cannot manage
He’s a boss who’s good at managing his own team, but bad at dealing with bosses above them. They believe in your work, but they lack the sense of office politics to ensure that others in positions of power do too.
“They listen to you, they are completely involved in your work in a positive way, you trust them, they trust you,” Hogan said. “And then you realize that nobody at the top level has any idea what your team is doing, and you lose people. Your roadmap is not prioritized, you could get [reorganized]. “
Because that boss is bad at lobbying on behalf of your team, your team could lose valuable funding – and team members might not get the promotions or raises they deserve, as there are usually more than one person who has a say in career rewards. , Hogan said.
4) people’s pleasure
You can sometimes benefit from the attempts of a boss who likes people to tip you over to their side, but ultimately that manager is a danger to work for. They believe that moving forward is about giving others what they want, even when responsibility is needed to maintain trust in a team.
They will make a lot of verbal commitments, but they won’t follow through to make a tangible difference. “The people I’ve worked with never do anything, because it’s just words,” Hogan said.
Managers who invest too much in “being nice” are bosses who rule by “ruinous empathy”, as Kim Scott writes in “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity”. According to Scott, these bosses “create the kind of work environment where ‘being kind’ is prioritized over criticism and therefore improving actual performance.” Without necessary criticism, your career risks stalling and you could even be fired.
5) The pattern of numbers
A “number boss” becomes an ineffective leader when every idea and decision needs to be supported by data or a model.
If you need numbers to make every decision, you can’t plan for the long term. “I have worked with managers who demand that everything be an A / B test, whether it made sense or not – to the point where no work could be done, because everything required experience to come back, ”Hogan said. “The data-obsessed person […] does not have a long term plan. These are all short-term decisions based on numbers, which means you never end up with a vision. “
Creativity can also be a weakness for commoners. As Brown says, “They’ll say they want creativity, but how are you supposed to be creative if everything you do has to be proven?”
6) the lone wolf
In his eBook “How To Succeed Your First Manager For The First Time: Identify Your Leadership Style, Set The Stage For A Positive Team Culture, And Give Better Feedback,” Brown writes that ‘Lone Wolf’ bosses are known. for their deep need for autonomy, are easily misunderstood and have limited and cordial interactions with others.
Brown says the benefit of working with a Lone Wolf is that he has a strong work ethic and values the assertiveness of team members. She said they often thrive in startups where being successful means taking on multiple roles at once.
But the downside is that this rebellious boss often changes plans at the last minute, creating tension in their teams. “What makes them toxic is that everyone will come together as a team and make a decision, and the lone wolf later is going to be like, ‘No, I’m going [do] this.'”
While people want you to make all the decisions based on the data, people in the know want you to make decisions based only on their knowledge. They often give comments like “Well if I were you I would have done it like that” or “Well it only took me three months,” Brown said. Know-it-alls are unable to account for times when their information is limited or out of date.
At some level, what the know-it-all wants is a working and thinking clone just like them. They want you to develop your career the way they have.
“These are people you constantly feel in comparison mode with, but you don’t feel like they take into account that, one, you are not them, and two, that circumstances and environment may be different, ”said Brown. “You always feel like you’re not successful because you don’t do it their way.”