Is your Boss a Dragon Lady?

Is your boss a Dragon Lady?

Everyone has had a bad female boss or two in their day.
But have you ever worked for a DRAGON LADY?
What’s a Dragon Lady boss, you ask? Here are a few examples of what a Dragon Lady boss does:

There’s the tale of a boss that did not pay her workers before Christmas vacation and then called a meeting at 9 a.m. on the day after New Year’s. She opened the meeting with a condescending ‘So, did Santa give you everything that you wanted?’ and then she scanned the room and told each of her paycheck-less employees what their New Year’s resolutions should be.

Then there’s the boss that hosts marathon, back-to-back meetings without providing coffee or even a glass of water for the captured.

Who can forgive the boss that demands that you complete a task and then works behind your back to make sure that your task never reaches its completion?
Oh, wait, there’s one more–that boss that works you like a slave for pennies and then constantly tells you that you shouldn’t ask for a raise because ‘we’re in this together.’

Urban legends, right? Nope. These Dragon Ladies do exist, and unfortunately, the aforementioned examples were all the same woman.
She used to be my boss long ago.

My boss is long gone now, but she has had an effect on my life: Because of her, I strive to be a mentor, not a TORMENTOR of the professional women that I work with on a daily basis.

The way I see it, someone must stick up for the nameless, faceless, female worker bees. And the women who have made it must reach back to mentor others. It doesn’t take much to dole out candid advice about how to polish a professional image, and ultimately work their way up the corporate ladder.

And when it comes to Dragon Lady bosses, it’s up to the powers that be to clean house.
After all, if you’re a business owner, Dragon Lady managers are running your young female talent out the front door. If you’re an entrepreneur that conduct business with a Dragon Lady business owner, it’s possible that her overworked, abused team won’t give you their best.

If you want to succeed, you’ve got to send the Dragon Lady packing, Corporate America.
You’ve got to clean house.

Cleaning house, that is, re-grouping and re-evaluating what employers/managers/partnerships, etc., are meeting your expectations, is an uncomfortable but necessary task if you want to keep your business afloat.

Pride, principle and office politics can surely get in the way when it’s time for you to clean house, and believe me, female entrepreneurs may know this better than most. Nevertheless, there are two golden rules to follow when you clean house: 1). Always cultivate the roses; and 2). Always pluck the weeds.

Here are a few tips to help you determine if there are weeds hiding in your rose garden:

How to Spot a Rose
(Employers/vendors/partnerships that you cultivate)

She is competent, and confident instead of controlling. She can assign a task and not feel inclined to follow up or micro-manage.

She is an agile, multi-tasker that responds swiftly to new challenges.

She is a self-starter, a continuous learner, and leader; she may implement a company-training program.

She has new ideas that, when implemented, positively influences the company’s profitability.

She comes to work on time, and will stay longer if needed.

She is respectful and works well with a group of subordinates and alone.

How to Spot a Weed
(Employers/vendors/partnerships that you pluck)

There’s a high turnover rate in her department.

She writes numerous disciplinary memos; she has increased rates of employee absenteeism.

She rarely, if ever, suggests a subordinate for a raise or a promotion.

She is a disruptive whiner that inspires others to be whiny and disruptive. Or, she is an intrusive micro-manager that demands your full attention at all times.

There is evidence of alcohol or substance abuse.

Loyalty and truthfulness are concepts that she knows not; especially when it comes to her subordinates.

In her mind, badgering is essential if an employee is to complete a task.

Dragon Lady managers will drain your business unnecessarily, if you let them.
Consult with your HR director or a trusted employee rights attorney and clean house immediately; attempting to humor a Dragon Lady and/or delay the inevitable is a waste of time and energy.

On the other hand, good managers will produce more return for every employee that they supervise, because they realize it is in their best interest to award and promote subordinates accordingly.

The good manager is usually found among the movers-and-shakers in business, entertainment and politics, and often convenes to connect, network and impart her wisdom.
Sometimes she may seem hard to find, but she’s out there.
And if you’re a female professional, your work life will be fulfilled if your paths should ever meet.
Carpe Diem.