I’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, but from what I see on the World Wide Web and the occasional post on various social media outlets, kids these days are using astrological signs to best match up with partners. In order to have a great experience at work, it’s important to find out what astrological signs exist for managers and which work for you. But there are some obvious signs that anyone in the workforce should be careful to avoid.
Often the seagull is seen hovering around various office spaces looking to “connect.” He might be seen wearing baseball cap with a sports coat and a tie. He often checks fantasy football on his iPhone and rarely skips a chance to “do lunch” with the boss. He’s not really into how you feel and in fact would rather not know. As Ken Blanchard says, “You gotta watch out for Seagull Management. Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, and then fly out.” These seagulls think they are special because when they “show up” they cause a lot of havoc and they think they are just “getting things going.”
Seagulls don’t play well with direct reports but tend to get along well with same level managers and especially executives.
- Be careful about getting wrapped up with what the seagull manager brings and be prepared to diffuse the situation.
- What to watch out for: He’s not really your friend, unless he needs something from you.
- Play in the weekly football pool, but never accept his trades on fantasy football.
- What to watch out for: Don’t get wrapped up in his management style. It may look effective and envious, but it’s not an efficient way to manage long-term.
- They are gimmicks. He might “get the job done”, but he will lose some of your best talent.
- What to watch out for: Pay attention to turnover in this department. It might be a red flag for a dysfunctional team.
Don’t be confused with the peacock. He’s a deceiver. He looks like he’s doing a bunch of work but he’s really lazy. His favorite management tool is the “delegation.” He’s too busy with everything he’s got going on so he gives away everything he’s supposed to do. He is tangential with his speech because he’s not really saying anything but words continually spew out of his mouth. No one understands him, but somehow we hear him. You may think its Armani but really the suit is a hand-me-down from his late, great Uncle Cornelius.
Peacocks don’t play well with direct reports but tend to get along well with same level managers. Executives aren’t fooled.
- Prioritize the tasks given and don’t be afraid to get clarification.
- What to watch out for: He will task you to death, so don’t get burned out.
- Don’t be a Peacock. For the sake of those who work for you, please don’t be a Peacock.
- What to watch out for: 3 Piece Suits aren’t that great.
- Please send to remedial leadership training.
- What to watch out for: Take a second look before you decide to promote.
This guy. He’s quite the charmer and is generally liked in the office. He brings donuts on Fridays and loves puppies. These are all good things, but those that know him best are not sold on him. He has a tendency to say one thing and do another, over-commits to projects, and rarely delivers on what he promises. He tries to please too many people and has mastered the art of the fake smile.
Chameleons generally get along well with everyone, except those closest to him.
- Have a conversation with him about how you feel; it might actually go better than you think.
- What to watch out for: Stay away from the donuts.
- If you have this tendency, then don’t be afraid to say no every once in a while.
- What to watch out for: If you know other managers like this, be careful in conversing with them. They may gossip and take up too much of your time with unnecessary conversation.
- May not be the best to run day-to-day operations.
- What to watch out for: You may see signs of disorganization and lack of process in their department.
If you happen to run into one of these types of managers, just be sure to steer clear as much as you can!
Gus is a Learning and Performance Professional at the Ken Blanchard Companies and is currently finishing his PhD in I/O Psychology. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org