For Better or Worse – The 7 Types of Managers I’ve Encountered So Far


What types of managers have you worked with and their roles they play at work?

We’re familiar that management and the types of managers employees associated with, directly influence their work performance independently and as a team. 

Today’s workplace is a fairly interesting environment. Gone are the old days when managers were always authoritative; our modern society has given rise to a wide range of fascinating personalities. Who’re you going to encounter next, and what can you expect? 

Here’re seven managers, as personally encountered by yours truly, for better or worse… 

The Micromanager


I don’t think anyone likes to be micromanaged.

Micromanagers are usually very nice at first, saying their ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous’ when they’re due. But that’s not all to them. That’s because they’re familiarising themselves with you. Once they’re done with that, they’ll try and control every single bit of your life at work like a prep school’s disciplinarian. Sounds terrible, right? 

One thing for sure is micromanagers don’t trust their subordinates. And they often don’t delegate tasks. When they do, most of the time, they’re breathing down the necks of their subordinates; consistently checking on them or doubting their abilities. 

Did a Powerpoint presentation using a bar graph? This manager doesn’t hesitate to tell you it looks better in a pie chart and to change it immediately. Did you use Arial font? Uh-uh, change it to Calibri, text size 11, underlined and in BOLD. Such managers are hardly satisfied with the way things are done by others unless it’s done by them. 

The worst part is not the constant change of the cosmetics of your work, but rather how you should do your work till you cry (not just out loud) “give me a break!”

The Manager Who Walks with Her Nose Pointed Up


Can you sense it? The air of arrogance as this manager walks by. Yes – they do it because they can. We do respect them for their valuable contributions to the company, but these people treat their subordinates like personal slaves. And no one wants to be a personal slave to anyone, especially at work. 

They ask that you grab coffee for them before they arrive or a snack in the middle of the day, sends you outdoors to do their pick-up work, or even doing grocery shopping for them during your lunch break. Often, these managers aren’t intentionally mean, but they do make you question your self-worth. They’re probably the reason you chose to quit the company eventually. 

They make you feel underappreciated, and sometimes you wonder if they’ve anything against you. Trust me, most of the time, it has nothing to do with you. 

How do you spot one? They’re usually the ones with an air of entitlement going around asking for favours from random employees without batting an eyelid. Better flee from their tracks. 

The Needy Manager


The needy manager, is also seen as ‘clingy’ or ‘reliant’ on their employees. Whether it’s assigning work, or on the decisions they’ve to make, they want you to be a part of it.

Can you relate? 

Employees may be fond of such a manager – when the relationship is on good terms, and such an act of neediness is seen as a sign of trust or simply because this manager may lack certain abilities on his own.  

This manager may also have a habit of asking you to take minutes during meetings specifically for his own use even though you both came up with the ideas/solutions together. The thought of, “How does he still works here?” may occasionally cross your mind. Sometimes, you fantasise about taking over his position because you think you can do a better job.

Life can be extremely unfair if we choose to nitpick on every single situation we’ve been through. It’s important to remember and visualise the bigger picture; the success of a company relies on the types of employees hired. So even though, deep down you know you’re more capable than your manager, continue to stay humble, support him and make your contributions – ensuring that no one takes credit for them. 

One thing we can all agree on is, it certainly seems like you’re the important jotter book or go-to person for this manager. In such an event, have a treat and smile; you’re quite indispensable to this manager. Start analysing and plotting your approach for the next performance appraisal with him; you might be in for a raise or that promotion you’ve been eyeing on! 

The Social Butterfly Manager 


A social butterfly is someone who’s social or friendly with everyone, flitting from person to person, the way a butterfly might. The word social comes from the Latin socius meaning ‘friend.’ When you’re being social, you’re everyone’s friend.

Some managers are more sociable and friendlier with others. The social butterfly enjoys conversations, companion and other forms of social interactions with his subordinates. When he’s socialising, he treats everyone as his friend.

The social butterfly might be the darling of the office pantry as well as the ever-present one at corporate dinners (even the ones he wasn’t invited to).

Let’s face it; he’s everywhere because he’s well-connected, sociable and probably quite likeable among his subordinates. Since he’s a know-how when it comes to interacting with people, and making them feel comfortable, his subordinates usually welcome his presence (in the beginning) until he starts to delegate work (even his) to his subordinates.

People enjoy his company and his funny jokes, but when you question his work efficiency, this manager is a pro at asking others to cover up for his responsibilities. Well, no one is perfect. 

If you think about it, it’s no surprise since this is in fact why he can be socially present in the work space. His subordinates are usually overworked and unhappy while he’s joyously mingling with the happy birds out in the pantry. You can be sure though that he’s always calling for a toast or a birthday celebration at work because his jovial presence is impossible to miss. When the social butterfly is not around his subordinates, they’re gossiping about him all the time.

The Double-Crossing Manager


Sometimes, you may come across a manager who seems really nice and approachable. This manager is ready to lend you a hand anytime and doesn’t get annoyed or frustrated with you when you accidentally make a mistake. Just when you thought you found the ‘ideal’ manager, there’s more to this person. 

So, you thought you could let your guard down? Since this manager was really nice and portrayed empathy towards you, you’ve grown close to him and you may have shared conversations relating to yourself. When more personal information is shared, the double-crossing manager is waiting to use it against you for his own benefit.

His niceness can also be in the form of occasionally buying you and the team treats but such behavior is ultimately functional; he doesn’t hesitate to use you as a stepping stone to propel himself forward.

These managers are exceptionally well-versed in the art of hedonistic manipulation. They seldom carry a high profile and will come up to you with an innocent cuppa or curry puff, then proceed on to peel you layer by layer. 

In the final stages of execution, the double-crossing manager has his back turn against you, even at your worst state.

This is not to say that all managers who’re genuinely nice have an ulterior motive to their actions. But, consider yourself warned, workling.

The Hands-Off Manager


The manager most employees wishes for – the hands-off manager; someone who doesn’t micro-manage (for sure) and give subordinates plenty of space and autonomy at work. 

Don’t we all love managers who aren’t always around and leave us to our own (electronic) devices? These managers are pretty laid-back and are usually cool about letting you decide the best strategy for a project or hearing your inputs. They seek for your feedback and ensures it gets implemented if they also believe it’s a good idea. 

They’re usually growers and actually treat you with respect, and want to work together with you to ensure progress is made in the company. Sometimes, to be ‘safe’ at work is to have an authoritative figure backing you up and hearing out your opinions, even if your ideas aren’t the best of the lot. Unfortunately, there’re those who would take advantage of such situations and even try to take the place of being the ‘boss’ around their colleagues.

However, such acts tend to backfire and they end up getting fired (true story).  

Also, while managers like these tend to be distant, you can be assured that they don’t mistreat you and are serious when it comes to work. They’ll attentively hear you out and appreciate your work efforts. Perhaps the only downside to such managers, though, is that if you don’t bother them, you may never hear from them. 

The Ideal Manager 


This is the kind of manager everyone, including yours truly, aspires to be. The ideal manager commands huge respect without demanding for it, not just because of their stellar reputation or academic track records, but also because they’re humble, decisive and effective in what they do. They’re also open-minded, tap into people’s potential and are willing to take risks. 

They keep their team happy, and often keep check with everyone ensuring they’re on the right track. Teamwork matters most for this manager as he may be on call as someone somewhere wants their valuable input, and more often than not, they’re hard to secure for one-on-one sessions (unless initiated by them) because they’re so high in demand. But they do try their best to cater to all, and keep things running smoothly. 

They’re fluent in people skills and reading social cues, and it makes them impossible to miss. Did I mention that they’re usually impeccably dressed too? 

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