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The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: the 10 Most Common Types of Boss

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Everyone has characteristics that can be put into one or two pigeon holes, and bosses aren't immune from this pigeon-holing. Call it 'market research' or 'looking at demographics'.

1. The David Brent

The guy who tries to be chums with everybody, and fails miserably. Much like David Brent, such bosses often show a lack of drive, insight and/or initiative when it comes to their own job, and this in turn affects the performance of others in the office.

How to handle: You may need to learn some self-sufficiency and learn exactly what needs to be done and when. Either that, or learn to enjoy the fact that you have little work to do and use your time learning something that'll make you stupendously rich.

2. The Wannabe Dragon

Basically, the type of boss who thinks programmes such as Dragon's Den show what great leadership is made of, and then try to copy said leaders even if they've made a spectacular hash of things.

How to handle: Should such a boss make a mistake, blame 'the government', 'the regulator' or other such invisible enemy. Such bosses like to talk about personal responsibility, but won't ever take it. Do this well enough, and you might well be a Dragon one day.

3) The Never-There-Boss

This is the type of boss who's either constantly on their toes and hustling potential clients for contracts, or they're high enough on the food chain to spend most of their 'working' hours entertaining clients. Both of these types of boss are quite different, but they are similar in one way: they probably rarely give you simple, straightforward tasks or instructions as to what to do.

How to handle: Very little handling should be necessary should you do your job well. Should you be a newbie and not have the faintest clue as to what's going on, find someone who does know what's going on and gently probe them using sweet treats and offers of tea-/coffee-making.

"I'm gonna find those kittens."

4. The Psychopath/Sociopath

Have a Patrick Bateman on your hands? Are they partial to a bit of boredom, and wish to find ways of making you run in circles and undermine you at any given opportunity? That picture you have of yourself cuddling a room full of kittens… are they hatching a plan to find and kill those kittens? Then you just may well have a psychopath on your hands.

How to handle: Either run away, or beat them at their own game.

5. The Shouter

Everyone's come across this type of boss at least once in their lives. Shouty bosses are so common that they're pretty much passé.

How to handle: Don't take their shouting at you personally. Calmness and grace are your best friends.

6. The Boss-Who-Shouldn't-Be-Boss

This type of boss is either brilliant but lacks management skills, learned how to grease the wheels or has been parachuted in via connections. All three are very different in many respects, and will have very different personality traits.

How to handle: For the brilliant-yet-socially-difficult, break them out of their routine on occasion or get together with others and help wherever possible. For others, grin and bear it, and do whatever is asked until something/someone better comes along.

7. The Dictator

Has your boss taken to wearing moustaches and absurdly well-fitting clothes? They could well be a stereotypical dictator. Fear is their main weapon of control, and they may act like psychopaths on occasion. However, such bosses won't try and manipulate you outright, just control you with force and anger.

How to handle: Wait for a moment of weakness and topple them. Such bosses fear logic and reason.

8. The Pusher

This type of boss will push you their own drug: work, and lots of it. Leisure time is a communist plot to such people, and they will often try and work you till you're nothing but skin and bone.

How to handle: Be firm and decisive about your time, and do not ever accept any weekend work unless desperate.

9. The Show-Off

Such bosses love displaying their wares, from glitzy offices full of pretty people to flash cars full of, well, pretty people. They can be fun, but their keeping-up-with-the-Joneses and overinflated egos lifestyle can cost money and hinder the learning process.

How to handle: Don't get wrapped up in the blinging lifestyle. Should you find yourself spending all your money at cocktail bars, take a break and have a DVD night every so often.

10. Mrs. Perfecto

She's intelligent, respected and knows how to get the best out of you. She's probably established several businesses herself, knows the industry extremely well and/or is just very gifted. She's also a big bag of loveliness to boot.

How to handle: She's your wife/girlfriend, dammit. Give her a hug and cook her some dinner.

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