Bosses I have known and (not always truly) loved: The Dictator

G’day and a big welcome to the MamaTray blog! Woo hooooo!

First up, we have a series on bosses. Yeah, you know, those people at the top of the career ladder, who direct and develop us all, in their own sweet way.

In my experience, there are a fair, few different types at play out there. And being a nerdy strategist, I’ve done a nifty bit of segmentation and divided them up into 4 distinct attitudinal types. Over the next 4 weeks, I’m going to take each segment in turn and bring it to life, warts and all.

If you think your current boss falls into one of the segments, then please spill the beans with your own observations and musings. And, if you think there’s another segment running wild out there, do share the wealth and get involved with your two cents’ worth!

Ok, here we go…

The Dictator

Sad but true. In my case, anyway. Male bosses at the top of the food chain have the natural propensity to equate a job title that includes the word ‘director’, ‘chief’ or ‘head of’ with the need to issue orders and remind everyone who’s in charge. To know and tell, rather than show. Take versus give. And instill fear, as opposed to respect.

This is not, repeat not, a burn your bra, feminist rant. Just a humble observation. Not directed at anyone in particular either, just to be clear. 
So, let’s explore The Dictator.

Key characteristics

• Often a degree shorter than the average male in a position of authority
• Hair loss/expanding waistline/small penis syndrome (delete as appropriate)
• Childhood issues, particularly with an overbearing father
• Dominant WAG/significant other meaning the office is his domain to 
‘let rip’
• Bullied in the past for being a nerd/that bit different/at public school
• Unfailing confidence in his abilities and opinion, on the surface at least

Most likely to…

• Drop you right in it, on the day of a big client meeting
• Lash out, unexpectedly, about ‘below par’ ideas/work/creative/food/wine
• Spend large periods of time at his desk, looking both busy and menacing
• Drop the F bomb on a daily basis
• Actually hate the competition
• Not acknowledge your sweat, toil and brilliance

Tips for upward management

• Establish common ground — e.g. the latest episode of Breaking Bad
• Stroke the ego — e.g. “is that a new suit?” or “wow, you were really brilliant in there!”
• Pick your moment — e.g. not when he has ‘that’ face on or if it’s 
pre-morning coffee
• Have a back up — e.g. a supportive colleague or prep another idea/line 
of argument
• Sooner versus later — e.g. go early on showing your ideas to get that crucial buy-in
• Fill their weak spot — e.g. take on the jobs/clients they loathe

Next week: The Charmer

Michelle x

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