There are two types of boss, which is yours?
THERE are two types of bosses. There are "managers" and then there are "leaders".
A manager, manages, typically weighed down by a bunch of KPIs they'll do and say anything to meet.
While a leader motivates with great communication and people skills, treating their employees like colleagues, not subordinates who must obey.
Yes. There is a veritable Grand Canyon of difference between a manager and a leader. This is why it boils my bile at how ubiquitous the term "leader" has become in the workplace.
I've worked in both the public and private sectors for a couple of decades now and I've experienced the good, the bad and, just recently, the totally screwed up. My first manager was a 5'4 man with a personality as large as the sun. And when his managers pissed him off instead of taking it out on his staff, he'd regularly stand up on his desk to shout,
"How am I expected to fly like an eagle when I'm surrounded by these turkeys?!"
Eccentric, sure. But this one act of frivolity was genius because it showed me that a great leader never takes themselves too seriously; they are so comfortable in their own skin they don't need to bully staff to feel significant.
Ah yes, the bully ... there's more than one type. There's the loud, finger-jabbing, scene-stealing variety. Or, in my experience, the more insidious, passive aggressive ones. You're ignored, dismissed, undervalued, undermined and discriminated against all with a tremendous sleight of hand and puppy dog eyes. The world barely notices, but you do. And often.
Here are four types of managers and leaders I've come across. Maybe you've met a few of these beauties in previous jobs, perhaps you work with one now or you could even recognise yourself.
THE MIRANDA PRIESTLY
This is your classic narcissist manager. Nothing is ever their fault. They get high on watching you squirm, set ridiculous deadlines then change their minds after you've pulled an all-nighter. They screw with your head and secretly revel at watching you fall at every impossibly high hurdle they fling in your path. On a good day, you'll be ignored.
THE PUBLIC SERVANT
Shoehorned into leadership roles they're often ill-equipped to handle, this tragic creature is intoxicated by process and policy. They've fetishised the red tape that binds them so much, they don't even try to shake themselves free anymore. Forever chasing their tails as they zip through the 9-5 answering the demands of their own dysfunctional managers.
THE JULES OSTIN
Anne Hathaway's character in The Intern. This benevolent boss lives and breathes integrity and class. That classic mix of firm but fair, this leader is all about bringing out the best in their staff regardless of experience, background or seniority.
THE INDIANA JONES
Strong, forceful and confident, this brand of leader isn't the effusive type. It's about big objectives and high productivity. But the heart beats strong and a dry, benevolent wit always saves the day - and staff morale. Think Richard Branson with a passion for lost arks.
Whether your manager is a sociopath or a saint, they need to recognise this: People are businesses' most precious resource, and they should be treated as such. Managing people is a privilege, not a right.
If you are at the mercy of a (mis) manager, firstly, I feel for you, secondly, please know … unless your boss takes a gargantuan dose of self-awareness soon, they're unlikely to evolve. So if you can, get right outta that job.
To all the "managers" currently slashing and burning their way through workplaces and self-esteems around the world, do me a favour and head to the nearest bathroom in your building and take a good, long look at yourself in the mirror. And ask - would you like to be the boss of YOU?
Phyllis Foundis is a TV host, writer, producer and TEDx talker. You can follow her on Twitter @phyllisfoundis