Sunday, 7 June 2015

“How to Handle ‘Helicopter Bosses’ Carefully?” ―Professor M.S.Rao

“A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.” ―Russell H. Ewing

Beverly Kaye said, “People don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses.” Additionally, employees don’t appreciate working under ‘helicopter bosses’. ‘Helicopter bosses’ are the superiors and supervisors who micromanage their employees and are control freaks. They often interfere into the tasks of their employees and chase them to execute tasks. They don’t trust their employees’ capabilities and competencies. They don’t encourage creativity and innovation in employees. As a result, employees’ productivity and performance falls and also their morale.  Their intentions may be good but their actions are bad. They often suffer from stress and burnt out.

Currently employees don’t like to work under bosses. They don’t even appreciate working under leaders. In contrast, they appreciate working with leaders who offer challenging opportunities to unlock their potential and creativity. As there are a plenty of career opportunities everywhere for capable and hard working employees, they prefer to work with partners who are leaders.  Ken Blanchard rightly remarked, “In the past a leader was a boss. Today's leaders must be partners with their people... they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”

There are many advantages if bosses get out of ‘helicopter bosses’ mindset to excel as leaders. They don’t have to spoon-feed their employees. They can delegate their tasks that encourage employees to unlock their potential to perform well. They can empower their employees to grow them as leaders. They can also encourage their employees to explore and experiment to earn their respect. Above all, they can build leadership pipeline and next generation leaders.  

Handle ‘Helicopter Bosses’ Carefully

Be careful to handle helicopter bosses. Be diplomatic and assertive.  You must stay ahead of the game. Maintain safe distance from them to avoid excessive interference. Inform them that you lose concentration due to their constant presence. Avoid discussing your personal issues with them. Strictly stick to the professional relations. Fire them, if they cross the line.

To conclude, it is neither good for ‘helicopter bosses’ nor for their employees. ‘Helicopter bosses’ must learn that too much of anything is bad for them and for their employees.  Hence, they must reinvent with the changing times and expectations of employees to evolve as true leaders who care for their employees.

“The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” ―Theodore Roosevelt

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
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