Bosses are definitely worth remembering. They lift us up to the skies today but might kick you in the balls tomorrow.  If you try to do a search on google on types of bosses, you will have many articles that attempts to group bosses into 3/5/6/7/9/15/21  types and the list goes on and on. If you ask me, it only boils down to 2.

The boss that you hate to be

I used to work for this German research company and have this absolutely obnoxious chap that I worked for. His department’s turnover rate was highest in the entire company, and most staff who worked under him will not last for a year. For the sake of simplicity, let’s just call this guy KK. KK is a capable individual who also happens to be a very persistent salesman. He is loathed by clients, peers and subordinates. The only reason why he is still around is because he can deliver the results that the management wants. They find that is the most important return and everything else is just collateral damage. A non exhaustive list of KK’s behavior at work.

  • Shouts at subordinates
  • Pesters clients and colleagues by phone, email and physically excessively to get what he wants
  • Excessive micro management
  • Makes up stories to the subordinates to convey his personal wishes as management mantra
  • Make up stories to management to shift blame or to gain credit

The list can go on and on but i think you get the gist. KK is a little chubby but likes to dress in tight clothing with colorful vests so that entertainment factor cracks everyone up but still not sufficient to atone his behavior.

Why remember him? He is obnoxious for sure but i never want to forget him. I can still vividly remember how it was like working for him and never ever want anyone to go through that. I always consciously remind myself to never be like him and strive to avoid becoming like him.

The boss that you would love to be

Lovely memories can only be reminisced. One of my ex bosses, now a friend is the epitome of a mentor, friend and leader all rolled into one. Let’s call him AT. AT is a baby boomer worker who rose through the ranks through sheer hard work and grit. He is a business unit head of over 200 and is well loved by subordinates, many of whom followed him from company to company as he moved,management , peers and the industry. During the 2009 financial crisis, everyone in the company took a pay cut to tide things over and all management staff including him took the hardest hit, 30% to bear the brunt and to keep jobs. AT is always jovial at work and his abilities to whip a joke at any kind of settings is unparalleled. He is meticulous and checks every document he puts his name on so as to be accountable for what he approves. He discusses, consults, queries and respects every individual staff in the company. He tries to remember each of their names too, many of whom he might only get to meet once or twice a year.  He is intrinsically connected to every department in the company, bringing everyone together moving towards a common goal.

Why remember him? He is the role model and the kind of leader that i would want to evolve myself to become. AT remains a constant reminder of how pleasant and yet productive it can be to work for someone like him.


So there are really 2 kinds of bosses you need to remember and the rest just falls in between. It isn’t the same for everyone and there isn’t a universal role model to be but one thing I know for sure, it doesn’t pay to be a prick because karma is real and it bites, just a matter of time.


In a related post, just you case you say “I QUIT!” one fine day