"Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 per cent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49 per cent."
The words of Thomas Jefferson certainly seemed to ring true in 2016, a year that will undoubtedly go down in history for shocking political developments (not to mention the demise of so many much-loved celebrities.) The people of the US voted to put Donald Trump in the White House and us Brits voted out of the European Union.
We have, as result, found ourselves with a number of unlikely leaders and the political landscape has been irrevocably changed forever. We take a look at what it would be like to work for and be managed by some of the leaders of today.
Donald Trump – the narcissist
Trump’s comments about his time on the US version of The Apprentice where he claimed that all the women on the show “consciously or sub-consciously” flirted with him indicate that he is a classic narcissist.
Sharon De Mascia, Director at Cognoscenti Business Psychologists, says that Trump would be an entirely self-serving manager. “He will surround himself with staff who constantly flatter his ego,” she notes. “But he’s unlikely to value their opinions or recognise their needs.” On the positive side, Trump is certainly generous and may shower his employees with lavish gifts.
How to spot if you’re working for a Trump: He/she will probably take great pride in their appearance (think: peacock, strutting their feathers), give you the once over if you’re a member of the opposite sex and expect you to laugh at all their jokes.
Do: Be confident and direct; Come up with viable solution to any problems; Compliment them.
Don’t: Ramble or roll your eyes. Ever.
Barack Obama – the egalitarian
I’m sure most of us would much prefer to work for Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, or his wife, Michelle. Obama would probably be warm, friendly, approachable and a great listener. Louise Turner, Director at Barefoot Trainers, says: “Obama would be a great team player, exhibit warmth, sympathy and understanding.’ He may, however, be quite routine-driven. “He likes to complete one task at a time so may struggle a bit with deadlines. He could also be somewhat resistant to change,” Turner notes.
How to spot if you’re working for a (Barack) Obama: He/she will probably give you a high-five every morning, encourage you to take a CPD course you might be interested in and try and implement a family-friendly workplace.
Do: Be sociable and friendly; Take a sincere interest in them; Allow time for change.
Don’t: Rush them; Doubt his/her consistency or sincerity; Be confrontational.
Hillary Clinton – the perfectionist
As a boss, Clinton would most likely be direct and decisive but possibly quite controlling. Her legal background would indicate she likes rules and regulations and favours policies and procedures over impulsive decision-making. Turner says Clinton is an archetypal perfectionist with high-standards. “Perfectionists value accuracy and rules. They focus on facts, details and logic and tend to be very detail-orientated,” she notes.
How to spot if you’re working for a (Hillary) Clinton: He/she will probably be quite charming when they want something and expect you to adhere to their way of doing things. They will probably love charts, graphs and figures and appear to follow a clear moral code of conduct.
Do: Be consistent, with no sudden changes; Focus on standards and quality and brush up your pie chart skills.
Don’t: Give criticism without validation; Be antagonistic or too provocative.
Theresa May – the slow burner
May is not as easy to read as her American counterparts and, like a true Brit, doesn’t give much away. What she lacks in charisma she makes up for in calm and she may be something of a ‘slow burner.’ Turner says: “May will not show her cards or make decisions until she is ready to do so. And her ‘no half-in, half-out’ take on Brexit shows she is not afraid to be controversial.”
How to spot if you’re working for a May: He/she may have something of a ‘poker face’ and be hard to read. They will probably take some time for you to get to know.
Do: Listen carefully to what they have to say; Pay attention; Take it slow.
Don’t: Presume you’ve got the measure of them.
Boris Johnson – the joker
Johnson, like Madonna, Kylie and Beyoncé, is one of those people who is usually just referred to by his first name. Love him or loathe him, Boris (aka ‘the buffoon’) is hard to take seriously but he might be quite fun as a manager. He would probably have a never-ending stream of ideas but may struggle to meet deadlines.
How to spot if you’re working for a Johnson: He/she is a praise junkie and thrives on recognition. They would probably rather chat than work and you might sometimes feel as if you’re managing them rather than the other way around.
Do: Be sociable, witty and enthusiastic; Keep it fairly informal and be open to ideas.
Don’t: Be negative or defeatist; Overload him/her with detail.
Nigel Farage – the good time boy
2016 was quite a year for the former UKIP leader and Brexit campaigner. The outspoken Eurosceptic was publicly backed by Trump and a picture of the pair of them in a gold lift shaking hands with cheesy grins took social media by storm. As a manager, Farage would probably be quite good at buoying up his team but may have unrealistic expectations and lack substance.
How to spot if you’re working for a Farage: He will probably suggest taking you for a long, boozy lunch on your first day then sneak out for a cigarette half way through.
Do: Keep things light; Laugh at his jokes.
Don’t: Challenge him too much; Ask about finer details; Say how much you love Europe.
Other resources of interest
- 15 February 2017