​Leaders, Managers, and Vampires

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VampireI have recently noticed many posts and articles about leaders and managers.  These posts share that being a leader is better than being a manager.  What these posts are missing are the vampires.  Vampires are the third type of boss and they do well at blending in with managers.

Ideally, we would all like to work with a leader. Right?  I think that managers have been getting some bad press, and much of this is due to the fact that we are lumping in the vampires.  While managers may be more task-focused rather than people-focused, they can still be enjoyable to work with.  Managers are often associated with being task drivers and this approach can be frustrating at times, but I think that micro-managing is a term that is wrongly applied to managers.  

So who deserves this term? The vampires, of course!

Vampires suck!  They suck the fun out of work, and they suck your energy.  Some vampires get into leadership positions because they hung around longer than anyone else.  They knew the company, knew the routines, so when the position opened, why not them?  It was an easy choice. This doesn’t only happen in small companies, it happens everywhere.  

VampireI’ve worked with vampires as co-workers and they don’t need to be in a leadership position to make things at work suck.  Things get even worse as they get a “boss” title.  The reason things get worse is because they don’t  know how to be a leader, or even a manager.  They only know how to do the job, and doing the job is what got them where they are.  This is where the micro-management approach comes in, and they start “bleeding” you.  I’ve had a vampire boss, and it wasn’t much fun.  Because this boss didn’t really know how to delegate or empower the team, he simply walked around and constantly checked up on people to make sure they were doing their job.  I remember being told “I’m not going to tell you that you are doing a good job, but I’ll let you know if you need to improve on something” shortly after starting to work for him.  I should have paid closer attention to this red flag, but I let it go past me.  This boss would come in around the time we were getting started in the morning, and “remind” us to start doing our office activities minutes before we officially opened, and this was an efficient team that didn’t need the “reminder.”  Because they lack leadership skills, vampire bosses do not have a solid understanding of the importance of training and development.  So often, training under these bosses is lacking and may be non-existent.  This type of environment creates uncertainty and chaos.  This is one of the ways that a vampire can stay in control.  They can direct what is important, and change their mind if needed.  Just like in the movies, vampires don’t want you to struggle against them.  They don’t want challenges, or ideas, they just want you to do what they say.

VampireIt is important to ensure that the needed training and development is being given to those in a leadership role.  This may help them from becoming a vampire, breaking the cycle.  If they feel confident in their role and equipped to do their job well, they can help others feel the same.  They will not feel the need to “hover” or micro-manage others.  They might even have a better view on work, which will make them more enjoyable to be around.

This doesn’t just apply to those in leadership positions, but to the employees as well.  Give them positive growth and development opportunities, so they can have a positive impact even if they do not hold a leadership position.  

Think about some things that might be helpful to give life back into your workplace!

Connect on Linkedin or @Ben_Patient

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