Project Management

What Kind of Manager’s Entourage Surrounds You?

A manager’s entourage is a group of people surrounding a manager – their subordinates, suppliers, and so on. These people become regular fixtures. Some entourages are helpful, some fun, and some are even dangerous. In a post for PM Hut, Ammar W. Mango gives us a glimpse into this little understood world. He specifies three types of managers – the ethical leader-manager or “Y Manager,” the cynical and oppressive “X Manager,” and the absent or incapable “Weak Manager.” Whether you are a manager yourself or a follower of one, it pays to have insight into your potential identity and relationship to the organization.

The Y Manager

The leader-manager, being a positive role model, will attract positive followers through “trust, respect, and empowerment.” Some Y Managers come across as gurus. Devotees flock to them for wisdom and training. Other Y Mangers are that “fun boss” who makes hard tasks feel easy and buoys his or her team through the toughest times. Some Y Managers are mission-oriented, and despite possible flaws will attract followers who are tied together through a common sense of purpose.

The X Manager

The X Manager is not interested in being anyone’s role model. They are there to “keep the ship on course” and to “handle any scallywags” who get out of line. To carry the analogy to its logical conclusion, the X Manager is basically a pirate captain. They’ll hire only those they can trust – close friends and relatives. If forced to source talent beyond their inner circle, they’ll resort to look-alikes, people who think and act like they do. Their entourage consists of cronies, people without special abilities who will unquestioningly do their bidding. Probably, most of them are hypocrites, telling the “boss” what they want to hear to gain favors or protection.

The Weak Manager

A weak manager is either completely incompetent or simply absent from their role. Like a barren town without laws, Weak Managers leaves in their wake “hyenas” who will jockey for power and who refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. In the worst case, Weak Managers are surrounded by “sharks” who prey upon the defenseless to further their own gain without a sense of community or of accountability.

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