Is Your Boss an Animal?

Recent witnessed behaviors showed me the best, and worst, in humans and made me think; "some people are like animals!"

A CEO threw a dart at work puncturing a worker's foot. This incident was reported.

An organization works like a finely tuned machine, reflecting its owner's pride and drive. The workers are grateful for their boss.

A manager threw a baseball at work and hit the head of an executive. This incident was reported.

A customer stated the workers and owners at a firm were like family. The customer is happy and demonstrates her satisfaction and loyalty by purchasing goods from this firm for over 20 years and made another, recent, $3-million-dollar order.

A general manager slapped a subordinate in the back of the head and made this subordinate cry. This incident was reported.

Upon being awarded a new $17 billion contract, managers described, with prideful tears, their respect for those they guide who produce the world's most complex and advanced defense initiative.

A general manager grabbed a senior vice president from behind, as if wrestling, while the senior vice president's face looked shocked and humiliated. This incident was reported.

An airline worker searched for a box to package items from an overweight suitcase to help the traveler avoid an additional $125 fee. A letter was sent to the airline, highlighting this great service.

It's ironic. Humans who demonstrate gross behaviors, or who underperform, are often called dogs.

Yet good dogs are depicted as heroes, considered more evolved, loving, and courageous than humans.

My sense is bad dogs, like children, reflect their corrupted owners' or parents' vices - hate, anger, and aggression. Most kids and dogs, by nature, are playful. Yet when maltreated or misguided by abusive or neglectful humans, protégés reflect their treatment.

The term "good dog" is often associated with animals trained to protect, assist, search, rescue, play, and comfort. Good dogs, and kids, are often influenced by good, (honest, selfless, and self-critical) owners and parents.

Extreme stress, or abusive owners, can change a good dog, or child, into a bad dog, or child.

Following please find four boss / parent / dog profiles with their respective, stressed, animal counterparts. It's hoped these styles help readers become more aware of their and others' strengths, and weaknesses, to better develop good dogs.

A poised German Shepherd reflects a healthy "directing" type of manager.

Positive traits associated with a directing manager included: strong willed, optimistic, determined, productive, decisive, courageous, independent, confident, straight forward and competitive. They are natural leaders who gravitate to executive positions where they can impact organizational direction.

They value winning and people who are quick, specific, and to the point; winners who help them win.

An angry badger portrays an overwhelmed, or dysfunctional, directing manager.

When these drivers are stressed, or when this type of manager's reality does not align with his or her expectations, strengths become weaknesses and he or she can become, like a badger; angry, domineering, inconsiderate, crafty, cruel, reckless, rude, pushy, offensive, arrogant, abrasive, and ruthless.

Like dictators, these leaders run roughshod over people and they avoid delegating. When demanding types want something done right, they tend to do it themselves. They also believe encouragement and recognition leads to complacency and slacking. In reality, the top reason (85% of the time) people leave a work place is due to not feeling appreciated.

A fluffy Golden Retriever puppy depicts a healthy "energizing" type of manager.

Constructive traits associated with healthy, inspiring, leaders include: enthusiastic, fun, friendly, warm, communicative, optimistic, involved, imaginative, and persuasive. They love exposure to people and to work while they play, so they gravitate to roles where they can get others excited about the organization's direction, services, or products.

They are great starters who appreciate others who are also responsive, positive, upbeat, fun, and enthusiastic.

A hysterical Hyena represents a stressed energizing manager.

When stressed these leaders can become illogical and lash out, like a whirling dervish. They become irrational, prone to exaggerate, to telling tall tales and they believe talking and doing are the same thing. They get bored quickly and don't finish things well. They can also be very moody and need self-discipline and goals to see objectives through to completion. They can be a bit self-absorbed. These folks need to realize subordinates respond best to consistent and steady leadership.

A Labrador Retriever reflects a healthy "supportive" type of manager.

These steady leaders are calm, practical, dependable, conservative, diplomatic, humorous, efficient, trustworthy, cooperative, easy going, reliable, good listeners, steadfast, single minded, amiable, and systematic. They value seeing jobs through to completion while assuring people are engaged, and safe, along the process. They gravitate to roles where they can help people accomplish objectives while sensing security by being part of a team. They are the salt of the earth.

A sleepy sloth depicts a stressed, supportive manager.

When stressed, a supportive manager can become indecisive, unmotivated, timid, shy, a spectator, dependent, lose initiative, inflexible, slow, resentful, and easily manipulated. They resist change and they are not in a hurry. They can be manipulated because they believe others are sincere like them. They are reluctant decision makers and this can lead to chaos, and a morale drop, on their teams. They need encouragement to get things started.

When approaching a supportive manager or parent, it's best to be kind, pleasant, patient, and understanding. They are utilitarian, so they can be influenced when goals include macro benefits. They support decisions impacting the greatest good.

A working Border Collie portrays a "calculating" type of manager.

Their strengths include being gifted, aesthetic, analytical, idealistic, thorough, orderly, intense, logical, teachable, precise, cautious, and curious. They love detail, perfection, consistency, and creativity, so they gravitate to roles where they can analyze data to determine how an organization can improve. They have good imaginations and they tend to have very high IQ's. So, they appreciate people who are prepared, accurate, analytical, and responsible.

A busy, compulsive beaver represents a stressed and calculating manager.

When stressed, these managers can become compulsive, negative, critical, rigid, impractical, unsociable, picky, nosy, fearful, doubtful, and revengeful. They are impossible to satisfy. They hate sudden interruptions, mistakes, and being criticized. So they can take this to heart and realize their subordinates don't respond well to too much negativity and criticism.

So, the next time your boss, an organization, a dog, or a child, acts up, if possible assess the respective stressors, owners, or parents. Organizations and people reflect different dog temperaments for a reason. It's up to us to respond and influence so they can then choose to be bad, or good.


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