bosses

Boss v Leader, oh, and there is Apple!

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Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

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I came across the above on Linkedin and it conforms to the current thinking on what makes a good leader. I think we are being invited to view the second column as the desirable “skills and personal qualities” for todays modern leader.

What I find interesting is that if you look at “the boss” of the worlds most successful company i.e. Apple, the late Steve Jobs would probably have ticked most or all of the criteria in the first list.

Having read a variety of articles about Jobs and his very eccentric behaviour at times, and having watched the recent film about his life (even allowing for artistic licence) he comes across as a complete tyrant with very few redeeming features.

But then again he did tend to break all the management rules. Who else would have the temerity to launch the iPad onto the market without any market testing…

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Managing your Boss

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monster_boss_at_conference_table_1600_wht_14572If you read all the research about how people can no longer trust their bosses, you might wonder if there is anything that you can do to manage the situation.

Of course if you are devious and manipulative or have high level influencing skills, you probably already have but most people probably put up with the poor relationship and just complain behind their boss’s back.

Not a healthy way to spend a good part of your life.

Most business schools don’t teach anything about how to manage your boss, although it is a critical relationship,” says Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School.

Maybe we don’t like talking about the fact that we do it, because people see ‘managing up’ as manipulating managers . . . but we should look at it instead as managing the relationship. Get it right and both your career and the company’s prospects should benefit.

One way to approach this is by working with psychological profiles eg as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Knowing your own type and that of your colleagues and boss can pay dividends.

Understanding the differences in communication style between people with Extravert and Introvert preferences, or Sensing and Intuitive preferences can make all the difference in a relationship. The MBTI is claimed to be the most widely used psychometric tool for personal development and team building and well worth trying out.

Although it has its critics I’m a firm believer in its use for raising self-awareness (one of the key elements in emotional intelligence) and personal development.

An alternative but similar approach is to compare temperaments rather than types and this is an article on how to manage your boss based on the Keirsey Temperament measure.

This is an updated version of a post on SGANDA.