Leadership

Slideshow: 10 most dangerous species of IT manager

Beware the most dangerous species of IT manager

IT veteran Jeff Dray takes a lighthearted look at the types of IT managers and supervisors. We originally published Jeff's list back in 2004. And, I decided to pick a few photos the illustrate Jeff's great descriptions. Enjoy!

Check out Jeff's companion list of 10 most dangerous species of help desk caller.

-- Bill Detwiler, Head Technology Editor

In my travels through the wilds of the information technology field, I have come across many different species of IT manager. All are from the genus 'Procurator' and are very dangerous in captivity. Some are now on the World Wildlife Federation's At Risk Register. However, there will certainly be no captive breeding program to preserve them as most would be overjoyed if they disappeared from the Earth.

To help classify these dangerous breeds, I've created the following list of species and character descriptions of some common types of managers. These types are loosely based on some managers I have worked for over the years. As ever, this classification should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Caption by: Jeff Dray

Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/jacomstephens

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

59 comments
francisjake
francisjake

You failed to add the "premature" IT Manager. These are the managers who 'acts' like a manager, but when things fail, doesn't acknowledge the blame and gets amnesia. They usually pick the easy projects, ones which near completion or easy 1-2-3. Has a habit of throwing work to the team wherein it is his job to do so.

hackettbl
hackettbl

You represent Tony Blair as"...the highest evolution of [Procurator] Teflonius ever observed on the planet."  Your dead wrong! You must work for the liberal media, because nobody represents the highest evolution of Telflonius more than Barak Obama... He's not responsible for anything gone amiss under his administration.... Nada!!

matthew.persico
matthew.persico

Hmm. All those glass ceilings for women and yet there were plenty of women in this group. This is probably one situation where using she and he interchangeably was not necessary,

mandrake64
mandrake64

Most of these types can also be seen operating within teams, not just at management level. The associated behaviours demonstrate attention seeking, with the main exception of those that really have no desire to perform any work (those that nothing sticks to, shift blame, offload their work and the absentia types).

Once people see through the "look at me" behaviour, these exponents have a limited shelf life, if they were not simply out of date at the time of packaging.

If emotion played no factor, in the roles we play at work, we would all be the same type and Scott Adams would be short of inspiration. At least with a maniacal manager or team member, the workplace is, almost every day, never short of a dull moment.

farhankhan.khan
farhankhan.khan

There is one more type of manager called "Manager Idiotus".....They are mostly found in Middle-Eastern countries...They don't have any good writing, communication and technical skills and are heavily dependent on their South Asian and Philipino sub-ordinates to carry out even very simple tasks.

angry_white_male
angry_white_male

This stuff applies to all managers across the board. Lame copy/paste from somewhere on the internet as we've all seen this tripe before.

BrainiacVI
BrainiacVI

Management by crisis. I once worked for a manager that I learned not to do anything from. That wasn't what he was teaching or advising me to do, it just became the best thing to do. He'd come into my cube and demand that I drop everything to work on the current crisis. We'd come up with a solution that would take a few days to implement. Before I could finish the solution to that crisis, he'd come into my cube and tell me to drop whatever I was working on to deal with the current crisis. Repeat (as in computer form, not shampoo) Therefore it was best not to do anything because you'd never be able to finish any project he would assign.

Jim87231
Jim87231

Your list of safest boss species must be a very small one.

melvyn_ingram
melvyn_ingram

Been teacher on the use of computer to the older people, the one's that I had deal with in the past, they certain need a really check by getting out of the cupboard sometimes, come on the shop floor and listen to want the problems is and set up and make the computer's better for the using of then...

Odipides
Odipides

I bet Isaac Newton or Alan Turing wouldn't get a job these days (even if their skills were up to date). Pretty hard for normal, balanced individuals to get a CV past contemporary HR departments but the cretins listed here seem to fly through. Wonder why?

Aaron Mason
Aaron Mason

I had one at my last job - we were forever cleaning up his messes, and once we had them fixed he broke them again! It got to the point where we finally stripped his admin rights back. He kicked up a stink about it, then sort of let it pass. When our top IT guy got poached he said to us "never ever let him have it back." Sadly, the next in line wasn't quite as strong and buckled, and he's been a source of mayhem ever since... thankfully he's not a complete idiot and can learn, so he hasn't repeated a lot of the same disastrous mistakes more than 3 times, but I doubt most P. Icanfixitus folks can... I suppose it helps to get a good butt kicking from the CEO whenever it happens.

daworkinman69
daworkinman69

Micromanagerious was the worst for me... ended up fired by such a beast and going on disability as a result!

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

At my last job, we had a manager we nicknamed "Topper" because, no matter what story you told, he had one that topped it. He had been a saleman in his previous job and somehow talked his way into a manager's position. Even stranger, he managed to keep that position for years despite not knowing how to do anything.

macmanjim
macmanjim

My boss is a combination of 2,3,6 and sometimes a little 9.

DJM777
DJM777

That was Kool ... Now let us talk about the 11th one ... perhaps the commonest of the existing species: The "Passing the Buck" Managers: "OK No Probs ... I'll get it done by another resource I have ... You need not worry, perhaps I require a li'l favor from you and it will be done 'just' on TIME" is perhaps the only sentence these kind o managers can utter (Well I meant to say even when they really don't have the resource in real time or the resources are already bogged down under a pressure cooker situation.) But don't worry He will still manage to get sometime outta someone/somewhere!! NOTE: Alternate name for this category: "The TIME Magician (they count on 36 Hrs a day)". Scientific Name : Vicis Veneficus

Hans.Hilberink
Hans.Hilberink

What if my manager is ALL of these in one person???? He gets a salary 100 times of mine!!! Help!!!!

thodgen
thodgen

The Procurator Protectthyselfmaximus. This is the most prolific in the industry. The guy that tells nobody anything about the network, squirrels away common information everyone should know, is intent to ensure he can't be replaced because he is the only one that knows anything about the network. How does that work - it just does. Why doesn't that work - it just doesn't. How much does that cost - U R ? me? When will that be done - It's a complex issue - it will be done when I'm done. In the mean time, the network is a mess, nothing works the way it should, and nobody dares to question the Gawd of the network, out of fear he will quit and leave the entire Company useless. Fire him/her. You don't need them, and the network is a mess because he/she is a mess.

jayohem
jayohem

Heck! These don't even have to be managers. I guess it's worse when they are, but I've known some co-workers, resembling one or more types illustrated, who can cause others plenty of trouble with actual managers who suffer only from believing what one of these drips say as if it's gospel truth.

nospam
nospam

Many of this type of "manager" merely manage the workload and any subsequent blame on some poor suckers shoulders but keep the reward for themselves.It reminds me so much of watching the Apprentice with Sir Alan Sugar...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

These f'kers are everywhere. If you can blame someone else for not doing your job and get away with it, you are a bad manager and your manager is of the same ilk, any time any place or anywhere. A poisioned Martini.

brianyusufu
brianyusufu

The tenth one i will call him Mr know it all and do it my way!!!

radams36
radams36

Oh, I don't know about that last comment on the last slide - GROT.COM was pretty much a guaranteed rousing success! GROT.COM has lots of content that's not of any use. Some of it is red, some of it is green, and some of it is puce. ROTFLMAO!

jmantra
jmantra

Procurator Micromanagesis The micro manager

rdiprima013
rdiprima013

u forgot the "Always in a meeting Manager"

JJFitz
JJFitz

just kidding. I could not resist it. :)

glgruver
glgruver

But I once worked for a manager who routinely turned down all suggestions by employees because they were not his ideas. Once we figured out that his memory got a bit hazy after about a month or so, we would approach him with the same idea but tell him that it was an idea he "mentioned" during a meeting or some other conversation. He would respond with "I did? Well lets do it". A similar approach worked after he implemented some screwball procedure or policy. We would go along for a week or so, then go back to the previous way of doing things. Occasionally, he would ask about the "new" whatever and we would just tell him that "we tried it, but it didn't work very well". I guess a bit of absent mindedness in a manager can be a good thing.

ItsmeTaralee
ItsmeTaralee

Now you've got me very interested in job titles in the Netherlands....You are senior management, but you have a "Manager"....???? Is CIO and the like not senior management in Holland? I know its off topic but Im Just curious :P

dl_wraith
dl_wraith

I know exactly what you mean but in my experience there's been more tech staff like this and fewer managers with this trait. The people like this that boast that, "They can't get rid of me. I'm he only one that knows this! Blah blah blah" are the worst and invariably deserve it when they are taken down a notch or two. There is a sub-species for this one. Protectthyselfmaximus Salarisus. You know, the chaps that horde knowledge then demand a wage rise because of their specialist skills or value. Their mating call is "Give me more money or I'll have to leave, and then what are you going to do? You need me." When bosses show these nasty little vermin the door the look on their face is usually priceless.

francisjake
francisjake

I will agree on this one. I've worked this type of manager. Know him as Trade Secret Manager. Never shares what he knows. Never teaches you on anything. Holds the company a hostage. Will send you to trainings not related to your work so you are locked in the company by "training bond". Ever wonder how he made to manager position. Guess being a drinking buddy someone in the Management made this possible for him. BEWARE!

ItsmeTaralee
ItsmeTaralee

I have known a few of these. I think it also makes them feel more superior because they know more about whats going on than anyone else. Its because they are so useless they have to resort to these tactics (and they know it) ;-)

jcitron
jcitron

This was one of the most miserable times in my life!

snideley59
snideley59

The tech wannabe that forces IT to give him a domain admin account and then wreaks havoc and blames the legitimate IT staff? That dude is deadly

ItsmeTaralee
ItsmeTaralee

This 'Top 10' doesnt seem to be very IT specific.... I think you'll find one or more of these in every industry ;-)

jongar
jongar

Yes, I encountered one of these many years ago. Fortunately he wasn't my manager, but he managed to terrorise one young lady into fearing for her job by telling her (the programmer) what files she had to manipulate and new processes she had to write during the weekend in order to produce an important (but one-off) report, or else. He had never been trained in programming, systems analysis or system design. Nor did he know the data flow through the base systems. In desperation, she asked me for advice during the Sunday afternoon. Knowing the systems involved, I pointed out that if she used one particular file and re-sorted it for her report, she could cut out the entire sub-system from his 'solution'. It took her just 1 hour and she kept her job!

v r
v r

I am not familiar with "ROTFLMAO". Translation?

emcbridea
emcbridea

Hey, Why are you guys picking on me?

JJFitz
JJFitz

Maybe micro manager is a subspecies.

marianwancio
marianwancio

There's also Procurator Rectumlicus. The limpwristed servile do gooder that has a clear tendency to agree with every thing his superior says... Believes getting anything done that his boss asks for whatever his priorities... You know the type... Urgh!

anirbank2000
anirbank2000

Absolutely, this has been missed out ! Great article though

JJFitz
JJFitz

Don't tell the manager what you need, get him to "convince" you that you need it. This is an art. :)

Hans.Hilberink
Hans.Hilberink

Hi, I work in a very big company. And in the Netherlands they are really missing some points: I think half of the workers in NL are mamagers, so beware if you do businerss with Dutch companies. I have seen some years ago pictures that describe the situation here in NL very well: 20 managers screeming in 1 workers ears to work harder........ ;-))!

v r
v r

Also cynical and funny. Thanks for the grins.

glgruver
glgruver

Job Securitas. Perceives him or herself as being too valuable to lose. Only problem is, when there is a promotion opportunity, this person is also considered to be "too valuable where they are" and thus never promoted. It happened to me because I unwittingly did my job (too well it seems). I eventually did get a promotion and now that I am retired, I can sit back and laugh at the fact that it now takes 3 people to do my old job.

Aaron Mason
Aaron Mason

Yep. Knew one. I refer to him has "Procurator Icanfixitus" below.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

The ones who feel they should have full admin rights to the domain because they are your manager and should have at least the "privilges" that you do. I fixed one bugger by giving him them, and then everytime something strange happened asking him if he'd used them. First thing I do when I no longer need a level of access is have it taken away from me. I switched departments and therefiore networks once, got a call from my old boss, while I was in work, asked me seeing as I was still there and had rights on his system to fix something for him, so he didn't have to come in. I did what he said and it all went nipples up the following day. F'ker came up and asked me what else I'd done. I learn from my mistakes...

ItsmeTaralee
ItsmeTaralee

The old 'too many chiefs not enough indians' kind of situation =D Its funny. Not long after I asked you this, a friend of mine in the Holland was saying he will soon be a company [u]President[/u]. He has been trying to start his own business (just him and maybe a partner). I said to him that here we call that 'self employed' :D He replies that because its his own business, he is boss, director, President whatever :D Perhaps he was joking but it made me curious even more as to how business structures work in other countries. I work for a huge company too....and we have an office in NL ;-) Thanks for letting me know :]