Who’s the Boss?

I read an interesting article on HuffPost, written by Greg Savage who is a leader in Global Recruiting.  He speaks about how people don’t leave companies, they leave leaders.  This article is worth a read if you are leader of any kind.


Combined with this article and having had a flurry of colleagues recently leave to take up  various new challenges, it got me thinking. Is there such a thing as a dream job?  Or is this as rare as the unicorn?  Do people still stay in a job for 20 years and wait to get their gold watch like our parents did?  Have corporate and business structures become so “flat” that if you desire any form of growth you need to job hop?  And of course the Million Dollar question, money?

After many conversations at “book club”, around the table at a braai or from various comments on social media I firmly believe that ONE of the main reason why people leave their employment is due to the leaders.

Here is a list of Bosses you could encounter in the workplace:

The Typewriter Boss

The Typewriter Boss has had the same job for 30 years.  He hates change. He likes to reference “the good old days”.  He still has a box of floppy discs which he uses to back up his DOS.  Social Media is foreign to him.

The Black & White Boss

The Black & White Boss works strictly by the book.  No initiative.  No sense of humour. No grey area. When presented with a question he will answer by quoting paragraphs directly from the Constitution.  Approach with patience and perhaps even a dictionary.

The Grey Area Boss

The Grey Area Boss is the exact opposite of the Black & White Boss.  This man only works in the grey area and pushing boundaries is his strong point. No task is impossible.

The Martyr Boss

The Martyr Boss lives for the company. He has no life. He works every Public Holiday and averages a 12 hour work day.  How do you know this? Because he tells you, everyday! He insists on coming to work no matter what state of health he is in.  In fact, even though he broke his arm while cycling, he still managed to SUP to work during the floods.

The Jargon Boss

The Jargon Boss is all about what is on trend.  Whether it be about what he’s wearing, what he’s driving or what device he’s using.  This boss attends many conferences and seminars.  He likes  to justify that by chucking in “terms” and phrases he might have picked up.  Even if those have no relevance or context to the conversation.  “So although our GP might be down it is due to the influx of data which was determined by the algorithms of which I will bring the analytics to at our next meeting.”  Makes no sense but sounds impressive, at least in his own mind.  If you are not a lover of cheese, this boss will be a challenge.

The Rarely Spotted Boss

Here the name really says it all.  This boss floats in and out when need be.  His sporting code, which is normally golf, takes priority over most things.  That is one appointment in the diary that can never be changed.  He leaves his team to carry the can and swoops in for the good stuff.  Not the worst kind, especially if you are not a fan of the “micro manager”.

The Hollywood Boss

This boss has his name and title everywhere. On the door, on the email signature, on the business card.  He has all the fancy gadgets that are needed to be successful (in his eyes).  Apple/Mac stuff adorning his desk. Montblanc pens to sign those “deals” with.  He does not have the modest Nespresso machine in his office, he has his own Barista.  Lip service aplenty here.

The Sadistic Boss

On the outside all looks good. Staff are provided with lavish events, they are signed up for motivation courses and on a rotation system get to be “flavour of the month”.  This boss keeps a scorecard, not necessarily in his head, it could  be a physical one.  The staff need to fall in with all he is experiencing.  So if said Boss is cycling the Epic, for argument sake, the whole staff must be active, happy and healthy. If said boss is in a slump and besides to go on a bender, the whole staff must join in.  If you don’t, you can be sure that you struck of the favourite list, never to be placed back.  This boss also likes to shout from his desk to get staff into his office.  The idea of using the phone has never been an option for him. If staff members are to be disciplined, this is done with the door open, in full view of other staff.  Kind of like a very “subtle” warning of who is actually the boss. If this boss is encountered, revert to BizCommunity immediately, I repeat, immediately.

The “I have faith in you” Boss

This boss is a rare gem and a keeper. Hang onto him with both hands/arms/legs.  He sees something in you that you perhaps don’t even know exists.  He has faith in the team he has chosen. He does not micromanage, he merely meets with his team on a weekly basis to touch-base and add pearls of wisdom.  He uplifts his team and leads by example.  Winner!

Have I missed out a boss that you have experienced?


** Feminists please note that all the bosses were referred to as a “HE” only for ease of reference.

** Some people might well tick more then one box here and be a multitude of bosses



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