What Are the Different Types of Bosses?

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For employees who want to understand their bosses and behave accordingly.

In any government or non-government organization or any level of supervisory position, performance of employees is largely due to the different ways by which they are being managed. Supervisors or leaders of the organization apply different approaches in managing their employees as a matter of philosophy based on their experience and personality. No single formula on leadership will work for all situations, but a creative application of the different management styles will spell a difference in terms of employee performance as output of the art of management.

For this reason, the leaders or bosses of different organizations can be classified, though not necessarily exclusively, to the following types:

1. The boss who lets his employees do their work with virtually no supervision.

The management style of this boss is termed "laissez faire." Merriam Webster defines laissez faire as a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference especially with individual freedom of choice and action. The boss lets employees do things as they so choose.

This management style may work in an organization of highly motivated, highly specialized employees such as a group of cartoonists or artists. 

2. The boss who wants his way than anything else.

This type of boss is authoritative. Whatever he says should be followed without question. Nobody should contradict his orders. The employee is bound to follow his direction. His decisions may, however, be prone to a serious blunder.

This can work well in a military type kind of organization where life and limb is at stake.

3. The boss who consults his subordinates.

This type of boss recognizes the importance of ideas from other people. He brings relevant people around him and asks their opinion on matters that require his decision. The final decision, however, rests on the boss as the final arbiter of options generated normally through brainstorming sessions.

This management style could work well in businesses aiming to increase profit.


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4. The boss who decides based on group concensus.

In order to effectively harness the participation and share the responsibility of decision making, this type of boss strives to get a decision by concensus. This is the democratic type of boss who emphasizes participatory approaches in running an organization.

This may be the approach ideal in situations where active participation of different groups of people are sought.

Knowledge of the management style of the boss will help subordinates understand how their organization works and adjust their work behavior accordingly. There are no perfect bosses as humans are prone to err, but at least a dedicated boss will stick to the goals of the organization and employee cooperation is a requisite to reach those goals. If the boss is so erratic, unwieldy and unpredictable, then maybe the best option of a dedicated employee working in that organization is to find another boss.


Merriam Webster



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