Can You Manage a Tiger Boss?


Yes the picture is a cheetah but can not find as sexy a picture of a tiger

Anyone who has been in the workforce for more then five years I am sure can relate to the situation of a Tiger Boss…

Characteristics of the Tiger Boss:

The Tiger Boss is the leader who hovers around ready to pounce at any time! They tend to act without warning, moving from one area to another in an attempt to either distract themselves or seek out new experiences.

They have a tendency to roar when they feel threatened and will go for any perceived threat like a flash of light returning to their desk a little angst but at ease with their actions.

They will move around with an air of confidence and do not know what they do is harmful as they tend to totally believe that what they do they do for the betterment and protection of the team or individual. From setting out to discover new things to getting lost in their thoughts and dreams, the Tiger rarely ever shows exactly how they are feeling or what they are thinking.

Thanks to their dominance Tiger Bosses tend to create a clan or family like mentality amongst their teams, an environment where people muster together to protect one and support one another.

The costs of a Tiger Boss:

Beyond the financial return on the business around unhappy staff (this is another discussion) the Tiger Boss costs individuals a lot. They tend to create a lot of anxiety and internal tension for members of their team. By governing from an emotion of fear individuals tend to be reserved at showing initiative out of fear of being ‘bitten’ by the tiger.

People also tend to have an internal struggle in that they like the team because they have a sense of protective connection with others and respect for their colleagues who are protecting them. This sense of clan like family holds individuals back from taking steps to walk away from the company and securing another role elsewhere.

Furthermore, unfortunately our bodies are not designed for the constant level of internal distress and so peoples health and emotional wellbeing start to suffer greatly with people eventually departing due to health issues which in turn creates a sense of ‘letting the team down.’

The strengths of a Tiger Boss:

The Tiger’s name says a lot about this leaders character. They have a strong inner-self that holds up a wall to the outside world. While the Tiger Boss is incredibly strong and stable, they sometimes hold too much inside and can find it difficult to let their stress out (which only contributes to the sense of range when they make an outburst).

Within the Tiger Boss lies much more than a strong defense, and there is a love of adventure that guides their more personal interactions. The Tiger is a person who is capable of impressive feats from time to time, provided they keep a mindful view of how others view their actions otherwise they just look arrogant and bold.

What to do about a Tiger Boss?

If you find yourself in the situation where you are being managed by a Tiger Boss then I would encourage you to step back for a minute to see what they can teach you, what you have learnt and what you still need to learn?

Once this reflection has completed, ask yourself: am I ready to separate from my clan i.e. the team? If yes then lets start…

  • Depending on how long you have been in this situation it will be hard (and rather scary) to move on. So take time to re-engage with yourself – rediscover what you enjoy, what are your strengths? The self-reflection of what you learnt from this leadership situation will hold some clues here.

  • To help you ‘repair’ from the stress and to better cope with the forthcoming stress inject moments of joy into your life – this is where you make a conscious effort to have a laugh and a good time regularly into your life… Go to the movies, have a coffee with an old friend, have a ‘nana-nap’. Further to this take steps into the world of mindfulness – practice yoga, take a meditation class, explore the world of qi gong or tai chi.

  • While doing all this, plan for your future… What does your new world look like? How will it feel? What needs to happen to make this new world real?

If you have decided that you are not yet ready to leave - then you need to build your resilience factor. Practice all above with the knowledge that one day the time will come when you know its time to move on.

Good luck with the process and remember that although a Tiger Boss and a stress, they also have some qualities to offer…

[What to do if you are a Tiger Boss will come later!]

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