The Buddy Boss
Instead of being a leader, which they don't know how to be, managers who fall into this category make buddies. "Rather than earn their respect, what they try to do is to create friends in the workplace," says Brush.
According to the experts, bosses can never be buddies with their employee. Ever. Friendships neutralize the boss's authority and power. They can also cloud a leader's objectivity and hinder his/her ability to correct behaviors, to delegate and to hold employees accountable.
When friendships compromise output, it's the boss who will be accountable. "Be friendly to employees, but do not cross the line that muddies the relationship between boss and friend. It could cost you your job," says Brush.
The Inbox Slave
This can also apply to text messaging, says Brush. Communications are the life's blood of any organization and this person is very comfy behind his or her mobile or desktop device. They like to communicate in the medium that can be particularly ineffective especially when there needs to be some interaction.
"A communication that could take three minutes in person or on the phone now takes three hours or three days," says Brush. The written word is always subject to interpretation and you can't read someone's tone in an email.
The Unethical Boss
This is a category that doesn't just annoy employees, it appalls them. For that reason, it's a powerful demotivator. When a boss breaks or fudges the rules, cheats, lies or indulges in behaviors that reveal a lack of moral principles, he or she loses employees' respect. Without their respect, a boss cannot lead.
In addition, when a leader indulges in unethical practices, he gives his employees permission to do the same. "Padding mileage reports, splurging on business travel expenses, failing to take responsibility for mistakes --they all become endorsed activities by the boss --the role model," says Brush.
A leader has to display integrity and honesty in what they do. They also need to be focused and supportive of the people working for them. "It absolutely has a trickle-down effect," says Reed.
The Unfair Boss
Our current societal efforts to treat people equally have led to confusion among some leaders about "equality" versus "fairness" in the workplace. "I talked to a manager who gave all his employees the same pay raise because he 'wanted to be fair', " Brush recalls. He then seemed mystified that the productivity of his best employees declined to that of an average worker.
"Rewards can be powerful tools of motivation, but they must be administered fairly," says Brush. Remember: Fair doesn't mean equal.
The Disorganized Boss
Workplaces are filled with employees who lack direction because disorganized leaders don't deliver and manage plans and strategies to guide their teams. What's the chance of an unguided team maximizing its productivity to create competitively superior innovative widgets? "What's the chance of employees being inspired by a leader who leads like a doormat or by random thoughts?" says Brush.
The Cynical Boss
"Being cynical is an oxymoron for a leader; it's almost an admission that you can't do your job," says Brush. They regularly say things like, 'No that's not going to work' or 'I don't know why we are doing this; this is stupid' and they don't realize the impact that has."
"Employees don't get charged up to do a team cliff dive. If something is stupid then the boss has the responsibility to make it unstupid," says Brush. If you're a leader and you think that something is not worth doing or going to create major problems, it's your responsibility to go to your superior and get clarification. A good leader shouldn't want to make uninformed decisions.