Over the years, the meaning of the word Boss transformed into referring to a un-understanding superior who mindlessly and aggressively bullies his/her subordinates. Thus, the art and science of managing the Boss is born, nurtured and practiced unabashedly.
The path of least resistance is to cater to the weaknesses of the Boss and put in place a supply chain of free and unending provision of all the good things of life to the Boss at all times. Irrespective of the degree of culture and civilization of the person holding the post of Boss, many of them yield to this temptation of freely getting everything, that too in secrecy, and reward such supply chain subordinate with out of turn promotions..
The other easier method is to organize a twenty four hour eavesdropping service, whereby a particular subordinate does not attend to his/her allotted duties, but keeps tabs on the colleagues; professional and private lives, promptly carrying them to the eager ears of the Boss, The news will always be so juicy, that most Bosses never take the trouble of verifying this second hand information. This gossip siphoning subordinate normally does not get out of turn promotion, but keeps his post irrespective of his performance. These rumour carriers normally blackmail a weak colleague and gets his/her official work done through him/her.
However, every subordinate does not stoop down that low. Even every Boss does not fall for such wiles of cunning and conniving subordinates, though this tribe is alarmingly on the rise these days. As there are different kinds of subordinates, there are as many types of superiors, too. The Bosses can broadly be categorized into eight brands, depending on their attitudes, aptitudes, philosophies and styles of management. An understanding of the Boss, according to his/her style statement and brand, will make the life of the subordinate easier to get on under the Boss and generally improve the ambience of the workplace, thus paving the way for increased productivity. Hereunder, then, are the eight different brands of Bosses
The democratic boss:
A democratic boss is a pleasant boss. He is the one who believes in involving his subordinates in the process of decision-making. He gives a fair hearing to everyone and welcomes suggestions. He may even go the extent of changing his decision if he feels that it is not acceptable to everyone. He respects his subordinates’ feelings and generally avoids ticking them off in public. The democratic boss is easy to tackle and does not need any special handling. But he does not tolerate inefficiency. If you are a lethargic workers, you are likely to be ticked off, anyway. A democratic system of management draws the line at indulgence.
The autocratic Boss:
Although one may feel that one’s boss is an autocrat just because he likes to have his way, this is not the definition of an autocratic boss. An autocratic boss goes much beyond the limitation of enforcing his ideas. He is totally disrespectful of his subordinates’ intelligence. He does not care for the ideas of others. Cohesive working is not his cup of tea. His channel of communication is one, which travels downwards only. He does not believe in checking back on the facts before he fires his subordinates. The only way to deal with an autocratic boss is to allow him to have his way and to look for another job, if you cannot do so, it does not pay to cross swords with him or argue with him. You will have to accept his decisions and carry them out to perfection.
The workaholic boss:
A workaholic boss works like a tireless horse. He does not wear a watch nor does he keep a clock on his table. To him, the setting of the sun does not bring a message. He is wedded to his profession and knows nothing of the world beyond the confines of his cabin walls. He expects his subordinates to leave after he leaves the office. He is prone to assigning tasks at all odd hours and expects them to be completed by the next morning. Working late hours is a habit and an addiction with him. Most often, he has no family life and has scant respect for others. Handling a workaholic boss can be quite tricky. Forget about your wife and children or the appointment you made with your girlfriend. In fact, forget everything except your work and your boss if you want to be in his good books.A workaholic boss is not necessarily heartless. He has his own moods and flashes of benevolence. He will reward you with a promotion or a holiday, if he feels that you have earned it. He will give you everything except time off from work.
The Perfectionist boss:
God help you, if you have this type of a boss. He is a boss who will not accept anything but the best. He is the nit-picking type. Nothing pleases him. He is a tough taskmaster who demands a lot form himself as well as his subordinates. Whether it is the reporting time at work, or the neatness or the quantum, he is a pusher all the way. He drives himself as well as others, forcefully. If you are not able to do a job well, you better look out for another job. There is no place for substandard work as far as this boss is concerned. Work well and you will surely be rewarded handsomely. Try not to fake or fool the boss. A perfectionist is too smart to be fooled.
The weak boss:
One important thing to remember about weak bosses is that they do not like confident and super-efficient subordinates. It is mainly to do with their own feeling of inadequacy. A weak boss can sabotage your career in a very effective manner. He is basically insecure and fearful about his own career. His insecurity does not allow him to accept the confidence of his subordinates. He will pass the buck when something goes wrong and swallow all the credit when things are going well. It is best to be discreet when dealing with a weak boss. Work in tandem with him at the speed and pace set out by him. Keep yourself in the sideline, especially when the top bosses are in town. If you weak boss gets a threat perception, he is surely going to nip your career in the budding stage.
The Indulgent boss:
An indulgent boss likes to treat his subordinates like children. He does not entrust or delegate. He likes to do all the important jobs himself, allotting work piecemeal to others. He is considerate, kind and understanding. He can handle the failures in a realistic manner and generally takes the blame for disasters. He is efficient and quick. He is liberal with his praise and extremely genial by nature. You are lucky, if you have an indulgent boss. The only problem is that you may not make swift progress in your career because you do not get enough chances to prove your worth. The policy to follow is to wait and watch. Handled tactfully, the indulgent boss can be made to bend his rule and pass on some responsibilities. Count your blessings and work towards establishing the faith required for him to delegate. Make yourself indispensable.
The bullying boss:
A bullying boss is aggressive by nature. The tough boss allows no room for error. He has a strong need to control and intimidate others. He is a highly emotional person. He is not likely to allow anyone to have his say or explain. He issues threats and fires subordinates. He is like a drill sergeant in his approach and his style of management thrives on terror and submission. His angry outbursts may not be justified, at times. He believes that intimidation is the best way to get the work done. Tackling a bullying boss can be an extremely tricky affair. One way to deal with the situation is to pay back in the same coin. It is risky but it is an alternative. Most often than not, bullies tend to suppress those who do not retaliate; showing a bit of spirit could cow them down. Be tactful and diplomatic but convey the message the your are not likely to take it lying down. However, ensure that you’re indispensable and your work is totally flawless. Good luck!
The perfect boss:
This kind of boss is rare. There was a time when there were no business schools and there were no management degrees but there were good managers. The perfect boss did exist then and some still exist, but they are getting rarer-just like the perfect employee. A perfect boss is sensitive but has his emotions under control. He is willing to coordinate plans and programs with his subordinates. He guides them with a paternal attitude and has consideration for their feelings and limitations. A perfect boss lends psychological support to his subordinates and prizes the individual’s talents as well as abilities. He is able to read his subordinates, gauge their strengths and weaknesses and allots them the slots after careful scrutiny. He will never chastise anyone in public and will always give due respect to everyone.
In a lighter vein, most subordinates call a vexatious BOSS a SSOB, reading BOSS backwards. SSOB is an acronym for Super Son of a Bitch.