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Not even free drinks (no, not even free beer) are able to neutralize the pale aftertaste of bad leadership. If your dream development project is now turning into a never-ending nightmare that is generally just a pain in the ass - then it might be time to manage your boss. Before he pulls you (and your career) into the abyss.

As management guru and author Peter Drucker puts it, "There are only three things that naturally occur in companies: tension, confusion, and lack of performance. Anything else needs strong leadership."

And there are plenty of IT specialists out there who are excellent at doing their management tasks. But there are others too. And unfortunately you still cannot choose which manager you would like to work under. However, despair is still the wrong path, after all, you are the maker of your own happiness and can always embark on new career paths. We take a look at six terrible types of IT managers who you may have come across at one point or another in their professional life. But that's not all: We'll also tell you how best to deal with these non-executives.

The omniscient

There are superiors who simply know everything. Anytime. All over. No matter what it is. This IT management package is rounded off by excessive stubbornness.

"These types of IT managers always assume that they know more than their programmers," says Bill Treasurer, CEO of Giant Leap Consulting and author of such works as "A Leadership Kick in the Ass." "These superiors are presumptuous and over-dominant. Everything has to go exactly according to their ideas, even if that is a mistake. It is not impossible to influence this type of manager, but it is definitely difficult. Because reason is often far from these people."

When you have to work under the Omniscient, all decisions are made on a top-down pattern. Because you and your development team get stuck with reason and arguments, your projects suffer. Under certain circumstances, it is even worse that agile methods - i.e. self-managing teams - are in fundamental contrast to this type of manager. So how do you best deal with such a pocket bag?

According to Treasurer, the matter is clear: “In such a case, the software developers would have to stand up for themselves, but convey a positive message.” You have to counter his audacity with your own. Such boss types respect people who know how to assert themselves just as aggressively as they do. "

The weak one

In contrast, the feeble person simply cannot make up his mind. No new feature is insignificant enough not to become the subject of a heated debate. And no project starts without a lengthy, exhausting discussion about the necessary requirements. Which in turn sets in motion an endless loop of approval processes.

"The result is," said Treasurer, "that you can no longer rely on a decision. In particular, when the weak person hears the opinions of other (more self-confident) managers, decisions can be reversed or undermined."

Dealing with the weak, however, requires a little more sophistication than with the omniscient. According to Treasurer, a similar approach to the omniscient manager helps with this type of manager - but with one small but subtle difference: "In practice, you probably need the support of another manager with more backbone. That in turn requires a good deal of diplomacy Finally, you must also be able to explain why you want to call in another manager to generate ideas. "

The micromanager

This type of IT manager distributes work orders like a jack of all trades and thus undermines not only the creativity in the team, but also its cohesion. Like other bad bosses, the micromanager is likely to go up against the principles of agile management.

"Because these people want to be in control of every little thing, they ruin the independence of any team," said Patric Palm, CEO of Hansoft. "If these superiors do not have any specialist knowledge or can look back on any successes, things will get worse. A damaged relationship of trust between manager and team can be repaired, but unfortunately that does not apply to the personality of the micromanager. He likes the feeling, To exercise control and to be in charge. "

Palm is an advocate of the concept of servant leadership. Here the traditional top-down management is turned on its head. This style of leadership does not rely on control and power, but puts service in the foreground and should encourage the team to put their own interests aside for the benefit of the community. It should be clear that a micromanager is not a fan of this concept.

"If that principle doesn't apply, you have a problem," said Palm. And what does he advise those affected? "The best option could be a new job. If you are ready to put your job at risk anyway, you should face it with the micromanager. If the team is behind you and the manager understands , you win. You should, however, value elegance: Criticize precisely and specifically and be loyal to the company's vision. "

  1. Team building
    Coach Silvia Maute initially bases team building on "three big Vs", namely trust, responsibility and change. Specifically, that means ...
  2. trust
    Trust involves having the confidence to do something. Dare to play a role as a team leader. It has to do with self worth. Those who can clarify this point for themselves, according to Maute, will almost reach the next one by themselves: "Those who trust themselves radiate that. And that has positive effects on the trust of others in them - and vice versa."
  3. responsibility
    Responsibility, in turn, has to do with "answer". Anyone who takes responsibility for a task or a team needs feedback from team members. Important: this feedback must express "we" - "we as a team" want to achieve this or that. Team building fails when responsibility is projected onto individuals in the event of problems or mistakes.
  4. change
    Change raises the question of what the team not only wants to achieve through the respective project, but possibly also change in the entire company. Each individual in the team will change themselves through project and teamwork, for example developing new knowledge and getting to know new colleagues. But the view should extend beyond that.
  5. Stay out of the jungle
    The coach does not consider spectacular team building events such as survival trips in the jungle or joint bungee jumping to be necessary. At least not for the beginning of a team. "The goal cannot be to make someone who doesn't dare to appear as a 'loser'," she warns. Emotional things are important - it welds together when the team to be rebuilt has laughed together. But here a sense of proportion is required.
  6. Extra tip for writing a diary
    Another tip from the coach: write a diary. And not on the PC, but by hand on paper. "Through the act of writing, you process things and get them out of your body," says Maute, "so writing a diary is also a form of burnout prevention."
  7. Coach Silvia Maute
    Silvia Maute is a mental coach in Munich and Pfaffenhofen. She works with computer scientists, bankers, but also top athletes.

Greg Law is the CEO and co-founder of the software company Undo. In his opinion, managers - just like their employees - need clearly defined responsibilities. Because if a manager does not have their own role under control, it has a negative effect on their team. "When the developers need it, the IT manager leads the way. But the best managers will encourage their people to manage themselves. The manager's job then is to make sure that all the necessary resources and obstacles are in place be put out of the way so that the developers can go about their work undisturbed and as successfully as possible. "