So what makes lunatic bosses act the way they do? Brian Stern, president of management consulting firm Shaker Consulting Group, contends that tyrannical behaviour often stems from bosses not knowing what they're doing. A false assumption is thinking that bosses actually know how to manage people. Mention the word "boss" and we immediately think that the person has some special abilities or training. There are rules and training programs for almost every conceivable job, from sanitation engineer to nuclear physicist, but no set curriculum teaches you how to be a boss. An obvious way to compensate for a lack of skills is to be tough and unyielding. You stand a better chance of being left alone and unquestioned this way.
Yet training alone won't turn a crazy boss into a sane manager. Whatever category your crazy boss fits into, the big question is whether you can work with him or her.
Tyrannical bosses come in one of two packages. "The first is the hard-nosed, tough, demanding perfectionist," says Stern. "They can be difficult to work with, but they will listen to reason because they're all about doing the best job they can. They also know that talented people make things happen. But they can drive you nuts trying to achieve goals."
The second type, however, is even more difficult to work with, says Stern. "They are unyielding control freaks and have a total disregard for the facts. They demand that things be done their way."
Next: How to Handle an Off-the-Wall Boss
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