“Ruling with an Iron Fist” and Other Awesome Corporate Leadership Styles!

The Leadership Style Minions Understand

27 SEP 2019

Hello Corporate American Minions! Once again here I am for another installment of truth.

Since I started doing this blog way back about a month and a half ago, I started keeping a list of topics in regards to Corporate Life that I wanted to address with each of my posts. Initially I was afraid that I would get a few articles posted and eventually run out of material.  However I don’t think lack of material will ever happen as long as I keep nosing around in the blog-o-sphere. I had intended to write on another topic today about how cut throat Corporate American minions can be with each other, but I just happened to read another business writer’s article on the different type of office leadership styles and I want to address that instead (I’ll save the Minion Hunger Games article for another day).  The article I read looked at the different corporate leadership styles in a serious manner – unlike me who approaches every single topic on Corporate America with sarcasm and cynicism.  The writer of that leadership article had what seemed to be some pretty impressive credentials and a bunch of important looking letters behind his name….I guess he was a doctor of something or other….not a real doctor that can actually help you…one of those doctors that goes to school, reads some books, does a bunch of term papers, and then gets bestowed the title of “DOCTOR OF GIBBERISH“.  You know, the kind of doctor that publishes articles in academic or trade periodicals that no one ever reads (except me because I have no life).   

After I read this author’s article on office leadership styles I just had this feeling “that guy has never worked in an actual corporate office environment…ever”. The leadership styles he was outlining sounded great on paper, but were just not realistic. It is not my intention to critique his article which I thought was simply a lot of B.S. corporate speak. I felt I had to rebut so I came up with my own list of  leadership styles I have seen over the past 30 years.  If you look through my list, the leadership styles I came up may not sound official or clinical, but at least they are based in reality.   


Rules With An Iron Fist/Control Freak – This is the leadership style that we most often associate with Corporate America.  To be sure there are lots of guys and girls out there in CA that fit this mode. No detail is too small to escape this mini-Stalin’s inspection. When you present your results to this leader be prepared to do the task over (and over and over) as it is not going to be right (aka done the way the Iron Fist wants it – their way). The Gulag awaits you, my minion comrade….  

Anger Management – The Angry Manager lives on a hair trigger and Pepto-Bismol.  Screw up and you will feel their wrath for sure no matter how minor the transgression.  How hard life must be for the Angry Manager when their ulcer is in perpetual flare up mode.  I feel for sorry for this manager’s spouse as well….home life must be fun. 

The Type-A – This manager is not quite as bad as The Iron Fist, but their quest for perfection can be maddening.  Often times the The Type-A manager is a fairly pleasant and decent person. However those good qualities are offset by the Type-A’s constant drive to have “it just right down to the minutiae”  and that can suck the energy out of a team and drives morale right into the ground!

Corporate Climber –  This manager has their eye on the next rung of the corporate ladder.  The actual team and day-to-day issues mean nothing to this manager. The only thing that matters to this manager is looking good to the higher ups. They are truly all frosting and no cake. Never trust this type of manager because it’s always all about them.

The Delegator – Now I completely understand that managers have their tasks/roles to fulfill  and minions have theirs as well. The Delegator seems to be able to find someone to do everything for them. How the heck does no one notice this manager really does nothing?  You would think they would be low hanging fruit during lay-off time, but they never seemed to get “picked”.

The Politician – The Politician is one of my favorite types of managers.  They are true artists of the spoken word….gifted word-smiths. They can make anything sound great even when they are saying nothing. Since they are blessed with a golden tongue we minions never notice that Politician just gives us empty messages.  They can send us away with a smile no matter what they say, even it it is “go f&%k yourself minion and get backed to work”. The Politician makes it sound so good.    

The Nice Guy/Girl (Benevolent Leader) – I feel a bit sorry for this type of manager.  They are like the pitiful kid in school that just tries too hard to be your friend. This manager’s biggest fear is making somebody mad. If you’ve ever been on any kind of team in the Corporate America work place, you already know that somebody is always pissed about a decision that gets made.  The Nice Guy/Girl spend so much time in their attempt to keep everybody happy that nothing ever gets done.  The Benevolent Leader’s team is actually in quiet chaos and usually no one ends up being happy on this team. So sad.

The Lonely Guy – This manger just likes to have people around.  He/she always has someone in their office having discussions – never about work. The Lonely Guy’s staff meetings normally devolve to idle chit-chat. The Lonely Guy will constantly call everyone together for impromptu status update huddles.  This type of manager feels insecure when no one is around to re-assure them. The staff needs to get together, pool their money,  and get this manager a puppy. 

MIA – I absolutely love this type of manager.  The team never knows where the lost manager is, what the lost manager is doing, or when the lost manager is coming back.  AND WE LOVE IT THAT WAY! Keep up the good work, Boss!!!

Lost In Space – This manager has no clue about any issue.  You wonder how they even make it to work in the morning.  If you have any type of issue whether it be HR question, technical issue, problem with another team member, you are better off asking the water fountain for advice. The Lost In Space manager will just give you the “deer in the headlights” look and scamper away.

The Referee – This is another manager type I feel sorry for.  It has been their unfortunate luck to be stuck with all the throw away minions no other managers will take and through their wily management cunning were able to discard. The Ref spends all their time mediating issues between team members.  The Ref should just stick all of of his team members in a conference room and tell them whoever gets out first gets a raise. Then lock the door as the manager exits. That would end most of his problem in one grand act! The Ref must have really pissed off someone in senior management to get this assignment.

Good Techie/Bad Manager – I have been in the IT field for several years and have seen this scenario play out a few times.  An employee is a super awesome technical resource.  They are the go to person for all technical related problems and have pulled the company out of the fire more than once due to their outstanding tech abilities.  Since they are good technically that should translate into management ability, correct?  Not so much.  Many times the Techie just can’t cut it when it come the actual managing of people….computers don’t talk back and you can re-boot them if they start acting too squirrelly. People on the other hand are not that easy….stupid people. 

Bad Techie/Good Manager – This manager is the reverse of the Techie. I actually prefer this manager.  They made need help turning their computer on and have no clue as to what is going on with any technical issues the company may be experiencing and the team needs to fix. But as long they can buy the pizza on those late nights when we are stuck at work fixing the tech problem of the day, this manager is good to go in my book.     

The Benevolent Leader!!

So that is my list. There are definitely times when leadership styles crossover and two or more styles are combined….what kind of Franken-Manager would that result in when leadership styles morph together?!! Going to the office everyday to report to that manager would certainly be a joy!! I’m sure I could come up with even more leadership styles, but I am getting bored, lazy, and tired of typing. Can you add to this list with leadership styles? Please do!!


That is it for now – send me your favorite Corporate America leadership story. Be sure to check out the “THE CHALLENGE” page and send me your CA story.  If I use it I’ll send you a cheap, crappy T-shirt!!!

Until next time my minion-in-arms, keep your head down and keep wearing that Kevlar underwear!!

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