We've all had them. Bosses who are so self centered, so overbearing, so loud that we cringe when they say our names. You spend your entire workday hoping to dodge their attention. Calling them a "disruptive leader" is putting it mildly. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) calls them Tornado Bosses.
If you've ever had to work for one of these managers, or if you're working for one now, take heart. You're not alone. But you need an exit strategy should you decide to get out.
How They Got Management Positions
Your tornado boss got to their position precisely due to the traits you can't stand. WSJ says these types of leaders are loud, aggressive, charismatic and put forward a take-no-prisoners vibe. Sometimes they may even have a certain amount of sex appeal. They are typically referred to as Type A Personalities.
Your boss is probably a bit of a workaholic. They are certainly punctual and dedicated to their job above all else. Your tornado boss earned their position over years of dedicated, if not blustery, service. They probably weren't given this position right out of college. In fact they may have less education than their subordinates. Which is one more subconscious reason they lash out.
How To Cope With Them
Employee, know yourself. In other words, know your own buttons and issues. If you're upset about the cover page on a monthly report, going head on with your boss about it isn't going to end well. Know your value too. Be ready to stand up for yourself with a list of your own company achievements. Going over their head to a supervisor might help. Or it might not. Remember, your tornado boss got to this position because they met the big challenges and really delivered. A good supervisor will hear you out, but your boss won't be getting fired. You'll feel better after venting, but you risk the potential of Endless-Tornado-Treatment should your boss get reprimanded.
How To Get Out
It takes a very specific personality to gel with a tornado boss. Don't be upset if that's not you. You've got options. You can try for a transfer to another location or department. You can shoot for a promotion (though don't be surprised if your tornado boss tries to sabotage it). You can also just try to carry on.
The good news is that you're highly employable. Maybe the most exciting idea is to get a job with the competition. It never hurts to update your resume and contact us.
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