Working For the Manager, the Leader and the Non-existant Perfect Boss

Dealing with employment seekers for a living, the majority of people who actively pursue jobs in some form of business, associate the title “Manager” with terms such as “status quo” and “mundane.”

On the other hand, some employment seekers actively like the day-to-day predictability that comes with working under quintessential managers. More times than not, working under this type of manager carries a stress level that is manageable for these individuals.

There is nothing wrong in taking comfort knowing that if something catastrophic were to happen to them, their families would be taken care of by the manager’s corporation.

Hedge fund manager or mechanic, if someone is happy working under a certain personality, then there is no reason for the employee to jump into an environment that is a 180. It’s the life for many business minded people, but to each his own.

Then, there are those who with a seemingly undying passion, try to find inspiring leaders to work for. This search can prove to be quite frustrating to them,as sometimes they don’t find that individual for five or six years.

Most people find the atmosphere that they are looking for and the boss that they wish to be mentored by; it’s just how long it takes that job seeker to be sitting across the right person at the right time with the right offer sitting on a piece of paper accompanied by a pen.

It’s nearly impossible to determine the leadership acumen of a stranger. For any job seeker, there is not much information to go on to make a completely informed decision as to who the person really is, when you’re judging on something as short as an interview process.

After all, the applicant has spent a mere 3 or 4 hours only to have to make an educated guess as to that whether the other individual is that winning lottery ticket that pays off with a job that the individual is passionate about. To increase the odds of hitting the numbers, he or she could ask around, but at the end of the day, there are two sides to every story and you can’t believe everything you hear.

Leaders are hard to find and by the time they fully mature and are running on all cylinders, the leader has already moved from the side cubicle to the boardroom.

The second reason why leaders can take years for the job seeker to find is that the odds that a true leader has multiple open jobs within his/her organisation, division, etc. is exceedingly low. Once word gets out, sheer demand to work for these people is astronomical. I’ve seen talented people take pay cuts that are substantial so that they can work with a real leader who inspires them and pushes them to do their best every day.


I witness it first hand on a daily basis. Demand to work for this type of boss increases the volume of the applicant pool. For the “normally” qualified job seeker, it’s like Ray Lewis walking into an intramural football game.

I remember that right after graduating from Fordham, I took a job with a check company as an outside sales representative.

For orientation, they flew a bunch of new employees out to headquarters, put us in a room and in walked this gentlemen who was 6’2″, very well dressed, arrogant and intimidating – until he stood up and spewed out the worst business plan I had ever heard. I was 22.

After seeing a trend, about a month later, I told my boss to sell her stock and, instead of the promotion I was for some reason expecting for telling her that her company was garbage, HR misread some papers and, to this day I still feel wrongfully terminated. The stock went from $50 to $8.

My point is that leaders all have different personalities. Although 35% of the population in this country is bald, only 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs are. Still, somewhere along the way, many lucky workers found Jack Welch. Leaders, like any other human beings, have different styles: Warren Buffett always seems to wear a suit, while Steve Jobs does not.

Leaders could be male or female and for all anyone knows, the individual could be working in a company that currently is a Tier 2 player in a seemingly mundane industry.

While some enjoy working under more relaxed, predictable and highly regimented bosses, others spend much of their career looking to work under that perfect boss. In reality, the perfect boss doesn’t exist. It’s the boss that allows you to achieve the things that make you happy.

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