Are you a Six O Clock Manager ?


While reading Times of India, an article entitled “Pink or Blue? Your Pay Hike Tied to the Gender of Boss’ Firstborn” caught my attention. Like most people would, I began recollecting about past managers I have had in my career. I thought of those I had worked with directly and indirectly, as well as the stories friends and colleagues had told me about their managers.

Thanks to our unique DNA, every human (and manager) is different. Of course, it’s almost impossible to change a person’s behavior. The best way is to understand your manager’s pattern of behavior and align your work style along the same lines.

Based on my observations, I have tried to classify the different breeds of managers we so often see in the corporate world today.

CC/Bcc Manager: This manager not only wants to know about everything happening that has to do with his span of control, but he/ she expects their subordinates to ensure they are always in the loop, regardless of what type of work/ communication is taking place. Essentially, cc/bcc managers are control who firmly believe in micromanagement.

Six O Clock Manager: Just as 5:55 rolls around and you are winding up your day, you get a call or email from your manager about something that has to be done tonight! By the time you finally leave, it’s 11pm or later. When you have a six o clock manager, you should almost always expect an end of the day assignment.

Proofreader Manager: This manager is especially articulate when it comes to writing emails/ reports and expects his/ her staff to be just as exceptional. All messages should be free of grammar and spelling errors and subtly convey the intended message. Unfortunately, when you have a proofreader manager, you may spend the entire day trying to compose an email with just the right tone.

Template Manager: The template manager likes things a certain way when it comes to documents and emails. For example, always use Ariel font with 11 point or use only reds and blues in slides. When you have a template manager, it’s not about creating your own world class presentation. Instead, it’s all about creating a presentation that mirrors his/ her preferences.

Super Boss Manager: If you happen to be meeting with super boss, super manager will brief on the exact topic of discussion beforehand, as well as what you should and should not say. Of course, he’ll be observing you closely when you finally get to the super boss.

Outlook Invite Manager: This manager loves to send Outlook invites to discuss every little thing. They also tend to hold meetings for the smallest of things. If you go directly to him/ her and ask for info or offer a suggestion, he/ she will have minimal to say. However, if you send them an Outlook invite and schedule a meeting, they’ll be especially helpful and possibly share things you might have never thought of.

Physically Absent Manager: You’ll never find this manager is his office or cubicle because they he is always in a meeting, on the phone, etc. Even though he may not be sitting is his actual chair, he knows everything that is going on in his absence.

Panchatantra Manager: This manager has a story for everything, from recounting how a deal was cinched to how to fight with the CEO for budget approval.

Know All: This manager always says, “Yes, I know.” The thing is he actually has no clue what is going on, though he’ll will act like he does.

Social Manager: This super friendly manager invites you to coffee breaks, lunch & learns, connects with you on social media, attends weddings, parties, etc., and is constantly updating you with information. When you’re hungry, you can just run by his office and he’ll give you something to snack on. This type of manager is usually very soft natured.

Pin Drop Manager: This manager is always dead silent, as watches everyone and everything that goes on. When he does finally say something, it may be hard to follow his logic.

Process & Compliance Manager: This manager goes by the process in the SOP and absolutely doesn’t deviate from them, regardless of the situation.

Deliverable Manager: His only concerns are what resources you may have, whether you are taking leave or calling in sick. Essentially, he is only interested in whether or not you will be able to deliver. When you are right on schedule, you may not hear anything from him, but if you fail to deliver, he will quickly attack and try to eat you up.

Problem Solver: This manager can solve any problem all of the time and without any fuss.

Take Away Credit: When’ve you worked hard on a project and it is almost complete, this manager swoops in to discuss something related to it and before you even realize it, has taken all the credit, while you’re left out in the cold.

Antivirus Manager: Passive in nature and afraid of taking center stage, the antivirus manager is happy to let team members take the spotlight, while he/ she controls everything from backstage.

Resource Manager: This manager has the capability of building high performing teams and 1 & 2 rater. They never fuss about their subordinate’s background, believe in identifying everyone’s strengths, and constantly encourage the use of innate talent. They are not afraid to coach and mentor. In some cases, they may be hard task masters. These managers are a rare breed and hard to find. When you do, they are probably a member of generation X.

Let’s face it. Being a manager is difficult. In the comment section below, let me know which style of manager you think is best and why. Then, take the time to get introspective and determine what type of manager you are. If you know your manager’s style, then devise a strategy for aligning his/ her style with your own style.