Dictators on the wane as bosses strive to be inspirational

Apr 05 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

The days of the dictatorial boss from hell may be a numbered, with workplace managers increasingly wanting to be seen as “inspirational” rather than feared.

The survey by Lloyds TSB and work-life balance organisation Working Families found nearly four out of 10 workers thought of their boss as a “pussycat” who allowed their heart to rule their head.

Just a fifth of the 1,703 workers polled felt they worked for a dictatorial tyrant, while a third said their boss was indeed inspirational.

The research, part of a Britain’s Best Boss competition, also identified four distinct types of boss: the tyrant, the pussycat, the entertainer, and the leader.

A third of those polled said their boss was a “leader”, or someone who was inspiring, motivational and concerned with their wellbeing of their staff.

Bosses of transport firms were considered to be the most ruthless “tyrants”, or people prepared to profit before people.

The national average of this type of boss in the survey was 21 per cent, but transport came out at 32 per cent.

Bosses from the IT and telecoms industries were ten times more likely to adopt a David Brent-like approach and aim to be “entertainers”, compared with media bosses, who are more likely to be thought of as “pussycat” pushovers.

Nearly four out of 10 retail workers classed their bosses as effective “leaders” who valued their staff, a highest of any other industry.

Fiona Cannon, head of equality and diversity at Lloyds TSB said: “It’s great news that so many people view their boss as a true leader who cares about their employees.

"One of the keys to being a good boss is to recognise and understand the importance of work-life balance and that’s exactly the type of manager that we’re searching for to claim the title of Britain’s Best Boss 2005."