Home Workplace 10 Types of Predatory Managers – Seen These At Your Job Lately?

10 Types of Predatory Managers – Seen These At Your Job Lately?

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Dr. Evil from Austin Powers

The following is an excerpt from the white paper, “10 Forms of Predatory Management,” which can be downloaded HERE.)

While there are many forms of management, it is often mistakenly assumed to be a position of leadership. A management position usually establishes the handling, direction and/or the control of company resources. These resources can include personnel in their given departments, duties, and skills. This may typically be in the form of ‘command and control’ but is not always the case. Whereas true leadership opportunities offer employees the chance to shine and be their best, while simultaneously providing a vision for the future. In short, management is not always leadership.

Now predatory management, unlike the typical management role in the business world, is the sense of power over others and their fates to the point of exploitation, greed, or destroying others for one’s own pleasure or gain. Predatory management can come in differing forms like bullying, or mobbing when others become involved against another employee. However, predatory management is usually subtle and evasive than the typical bullying scenario. The difference is it can affect not only one’s health, but also one’s career. Whether short-term or long-term, the affects can be frustrating and even devastating. Here are the 10 forms of predatory management:

The Carrot & The Stick
Opportunities and promotions are given out only to the selected few as proof of the available opportunities; while select “others” often receive the stick. Those who have “fallen out of favor” with the predators are sometimes given undesired “opportunities.”

Open Door – Empty Suit

Like the Venus flytrap, it’s very much like having an ‘open-door’ policy for any unlucky victim willing to step into.

We Can’t Hear You

Management seeks advice as a means of validating their thoughts or beliefs. When this doesn’t happen, the employee is trapped into asking what management truly wants instead.

No Problem

Warm-blooded cogs are there to serve management. Should any problem arise, the solution is to attack the source rather than the issue.

The Punishment

While technically, it is not considered “punishment” but rather a legal dark gray area. This is also the “work around” policy to extract revenge.

The Guard

A stance taken that feeds upon itself in the form of protecting one’s position or status. This form of management is short-sighted in not training future leaders or managers for their eventual replacement.

The Rap

For those who fall out of favor with the predatory management hierarchy – that doesn’t mean these individuals are slackers or incapable. The opposite may very well be true instead. It is a means to control or to squash any hope for advancement or promotion.

The Shuffle

The shuffle is a tactic used by predatory management by placing who they want, where they want, regardless of the persons needs, desires or skills. It is much like playing a crooked game of cards – you know the house is always going to end up winning.

Chess Moves

Pawns are sacrificed for the good of the predators. This sometimes becomes a game of cat and mouse, this can go on until the employee succumbs, gives up and/or quits.

The Legacy

While these games are being played in the predatory environment, others are observing this practice – watching, listening … and learning, learning in a manner to continue this toxic environment. This is the true legacy that is left behind.

So I ask you, have you experienced a predatory manager? Tell us your stories below. And, if you are a manager… how do you avoid being perceived as predatory? What does good management do differently?


Scott has an MBA in Information Security from Keller Graduate School of Management and is currently employed within a local government agency. His professional experience ranges from Private Sector Corporate to Federal Government agencies. He can be found at /in/scottcgriffin.

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