A great deal of work, dedication, training, and hard-earned life experience goes into becoming a great manager. But how much of your great manager potential is determined by fate? Let’s look to astrology, the world’s most popular meme, for the answer.
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Aries (March 21-April 19)
The ultimate Aries manager is a fearless, natural leader with a rock-solid set of personal values. They have a direct communication style and deep commitment to the people and causes they love. They tend to have a distinct competitive spirit that they exercise in athletics, games and business. Ruled by planet Mars, the god of war, they use their warrior spirit to push their direct reports towards greatness. They’ll never hesitate to go to bat for their team members when the going gets rough. If you’re struggling with self-doubt at work, an Aries manager is the best person to coach you through it.
The bad Aries manager lets their eternal quest for fulfilling their life purpose through self exploration get the best of them by falling into self-centered, aggressive, inconsistent and bad-tempered behaviors. The bad Aries manager can be rather abrasive and pushy when they choose not to harness their warrior energy for the good of the team. They’re infamous for their relentless impatience. The bad Aries manager has a tendency to take people off projects that are – in their opinion – not being completed quickly enough, and they’ll attempt to push them through the finish line with brute force. Even when they succeed, this execution style often leaves their team frustrated and embarrassed.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
The ultimate Taurus manager believes that “slow and steady wins the race,” with an emphasis on steady. They’re able to use their grounding Earth energy to keep their team on task and inspire change one deliberate step at a time. Their personal brand of persistence and tenacity helps build trust with their employees early on, and that often translates to an enduring professional relationship. Taurus managers have the ability to affect great change even in the largest, most rigid of organizations. They also take the time time to do thoughtful things for people who have done great work for them, like writing recommendation letters or sending beautiful gifts for significant life events and achievements.
The bad Taurus manager is indulgent, possessive and stubborn to a fault. It’s difficult to convince Taurus to act on a plan that is not their own, especially when this plan has even the slightest chance of threatening the comfort level they believe they’ve earned at the organization. The bad Taurus manager’s materialistic tendencies will cause them to motivate their reports with superficial gifts rather than actively partnering with them on what matters — employee development.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
The ultimate Gemini manager is highly adaptable, intelligent, pragmatic and connected. They’re a bookworm with an impressive vocabulary to match. The Gemini manager’s lifelong quest for knowledge makes them well-versed in business strategies, human psychology and negotiating. People are attracted to their oratory skills and charm, and they are able to leverage these skills to inspire their team to be innovative in everything they do. Ruled by planet Mercury, the god of communication, financial gain, and luck, the great Gemini manager is a smooth operator. They are able to position their team as a well-oiled machine that earns the admiration of the rest of the organization.
The bad Gemini manager is duplicitous and deceptive. Their values are malleable, and their mood swings are stuff of legend. Loyalty is everything to the bad Gemini manager, but they don’t exactly practice what they preach. They tend to exaggerate their own successes and undermine the successes of their peers — and sometimes of their own reports. If their reports don’t adapt to their inconsistencies and inspire them regularly, the bad Gemini manager will quickly grow bored of them. And dealing with boredom is a fate worse than death for a Gemini.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Cancer is the homemaker of the zodiac. As we all know, there are homemakers who pave the way for their dependents to thrive, and there are homemakers who prefer to project their misery onto those who are closest to them. It’s no different in the workplace.
The ultimate Cancer manager is nurturing, compassionate and unconditionally supportive. Their intuition is legendary. They’re a straight talker with the ability to make anyone feel understood. The best thing about having a Cancer manager is you know they’re on your side, always. It doesn’t matter how different you are, if you are on Cancer’s team, they will treat you as Kala the gorilla treated baby Tarzan: as their own and forever in their heart. A peripheral advantage of having a Cancer manager is they have a penchant for creating physical work spaces that are comfortable, aesthetically-pleasing and energizing. They probably have at least one plant on their desk.
The bad Cancer manager is the epitome of passive aggressive. They are notoriously terrible at giving feedback because they are more comfortable sitting with feelings of disappointment rather than addressing valid concerns with an employee in an honest, constructive way. The bad Cancer manager bottles up feelings and assumes a moody (or should I say “crabby”) disposition. They believe people should be able to intuitively understand their frustrations. This irrational belief alienates them from their own employees. The team learns to be stealthy when it comes to planning bonding activities – they would rather work than socialize with their gloomy boss. Feeling left out is all the time is a truly miserable existence for a Cancer, and by default, a miserable existence for everyone else in their dominion.
Leo (July 23-Aug 22)
The ultimate Leo manager is lovable, affectionate and daring. Ruled by the Sun, this natural-born leader genuinely believes in their team’s full potential. Leo values loyalty, creativity, and courage, and they reward these actions with opportunities to express playfulness in the workplace. Their generosity towards team members who contribute great work knows no bounds. They wouldn’t just write a recommendation for a former top-notch employee, they would personally deliver it and give a rousing 5-minute pitch to the recipient before handing it over. Leo managers adore recognizing their team in public. After all, having a good team makes them look good, and looking good makes them feel good, and when they feel good, everyone feels good…
…which brings me to the bad Leo manager. They are ego incarnate. As Quincy Jones (an infamous Pisces) said, “an ego is just an overdressed insecurity.” The Leo manager is terrified that you will discover the truth — they are incredibly sensitive and care deeply about what other people think, especially their own employees. They are so desperate to cover up their lack of confidence that they overcompensate with a vain, showman persona. They are constantly performing. Sounds exhausting, right? Well, it’s even more exhausting for their employees who find it impossible to compromise with such a dominating, arrogant leader. The bad Leo manager’s employees are so wary of Leo’s control complex that they would rather gossip than engage in any kind of confrontation. The thought of people talking badly about them keeps the bad Leo manager up at night. “But at least they’re thinking of me,” Leo whispers…
Virgo (Aug 23-Sept 22)
Virgo is the sociopath of the zodiac. Now don’t let that word scare you…yet. Just like most things in life, there is a light side and a shadow side to craziness.
The ultimate Virgo manager harnesses their perfectionist complex for good. They are maniacally focused. Their attention to detail is like a sixth sense. If you ever wanted to figure out how to be more productive, you only have to consult your Virgo manager who will be thrilled to share decades of organization and time saving hacks with you. The good Virgo manager keeps their team laser focused with the appropriate amount of meetings, action items and follow-up emails. Once upon a time Virgo was a teacher’s pet (think: “it’s leviosa not leviosar!”), but now they have grown into a widely-respected leader whose greatest skill is execution. Virgo’s work ethic is inspiring, to say the least, and it’s also infectious to the rest of her team. Many managers can dream it, but the good Virgo manager actually makes it happen.
The bad Virgo manager is the master of unsolicited feedback. Their personal standards are so impossibly high that they suffer from intense, self-imposed anxiety. They tend to cover up her nervous energy by projecting the notion of inadequacy onto employees who don’t place the same value on perfectionism. This is very unfair, obviously, but it’s hard to rationalize with a sociopath, especially when they’re your boss. The bad Virgo manager has a habit of micromanaging and nitpicking. They will never tell their employee when they’re doing something well, only when they’re doing something wrong. To make matters worse, they have no sympathy or accountability for their team’s shortcomings —Virgo truly believe their employees’ failures are not a reflection of their leadership. After all, Virgo told them exactly how to do it, and they didn’t. Clearly, Virgo is not the problem.
Libra (Sept 23-Oct 22)
The ultimate Libra manager is your friend first, boss second. They’re charismatic, approachable, and deeply concerned with their employees’ happiness. They have been gifted with a high EQ which makes them a natural diplomat and conversationalist. They are justice-oriented with a devotion to fairness and equity. They’re not afraid to speak up for those who have been wronged, and they especially love to advocate for their own employees. The good Libra manager prefers to hear several perspectives before offering a solution, and once they’ve made up their mind, they are resolute. You can find the ultimate Libra manager dressed in something fabulous either planning the next social gathering (with Taurus), mediating a business negotiation, or collaborating harmoniously on a project with another team member.
The bad Libra manager is your “frenemy” first, boss second. They are so debilitated by their need to be liked by everyone that they are notoriously indecisive and superficial. They’re constantly changing their alliances due to the high value they places on office gossip, and this earns Libra a hypocritical, shallow and gullible reputation to anyone who can see past the charisma (Capricorn and Scorpio are not having it). The bad Libra manager abuses their delegation powers. They think they have figured out a way to cover up their laziness with charm, but their employees know the real story. These employees often end up absorbing the work Libra promised to do after they inevitably ditch their commitment for a more exciting, public-facing project (most likely led by an Aries, Leo or a Gemini). The bad Libra manager will attempt to smooth any resentment over by inviting their team to happy hour at the hottest bar down the street. However, they rarely stay with the team more than 10 minutes before they’re found schmoozing with an executive a few tables down.
Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21)
The ultimate Scorpio manager is highly perceptive, determined and passionate. Unlike their Libra neighbor, popularity is of no interest to Scorpio. Instead, they value drive, loyalty, authenticity and analytical strategy. Like Taurus, the ultimate Scorpio manager knows how to play the long game in business. But they’re also not afraid to put their own reputation on the line to develop an employee who is struggling. Ruled by [minor] planet Pluto, the god of the Underworld, Scorpio is all about finding meaning in failure and rising from the ashes. Scorpio loves to inspire their team to persevere through troubling times and emerge with fresh ideas and thicker skin.
The bad Scorpio manager is power hungry, and they don’t care enough to hide it. Since power is difficult to obtain and even more challenging to retain, they tend to exhibit vindictive, possessive behaviors towards people who pose a threat to their leadership status. They are so paranoid about their power being undermined that they will often block their employees from participating in cross-functional projects that they are not overseeing. Scorpio’s brooding nature is very intimidating to their team, especially when it comes time for performance reviews. As if performance reviews weren’t bad enough, people who work for bad Scorpio managers are terrified of what their spiteful boss has been secretly taking notes of for all these months. They love to wait for the perfect moment to “strike” rather than providing continuous feedback to their employees. When working for a Scorpio be warned: they seldom forgive, and the absolutely never forget.
Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21)
The ultimate Sagittarius manager is a human luck charm. Ruled by planet Jupiter, they embody good fortune, enthusiasm and optimism about the future. Their positivity rubs off on their employees, making them a truly uplifting person to work for. They have strong convictions about their managerial decisions because they have spent a great deal of time learning about human nature via extensive travel and frequent philosophical discussions with strangers and peers alike. The ultimate Sagittarius manager is versatile and open to new ideas, so long as they don’t compromise the integrity of their work.
The bad Sagittarius manager is optimistic to a fault. They tend to exaggerate the successes of their team so that people don’t catch onto their lazy and restless habits. It’s all fun and games until someone questions Sagittarius’ integrity. When this happens, they become abrasive and uncompromising in any decisions that question their authority. They have an extremely short attention span and tend to live in the “now” instead of planning for the future. Their short-sightedness also renders them tactless. They are infamous for dropping “truth bombs” and promptly exiting the conversation so that other coworkers have to deal with the drama of the aftermath (often the Cancers or Libras).
Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19)
The ultimate Capricorn manager doesn’t like to think of themself as a “manager.” They prefer “career coach.” Ruled by planet Saturn, the “traditionalist”, Capricorn is highly disciplined, responsible and persistent. They have a realistic handle on the limitations of the company and the individuals on their team. They are prudent, strategic and possess a tremendous amount of patience. This empowers them to tactfully navigate those limitations to drive business value. They are masterful with stringent budgets and negotiating deals. Also referred to as “the sage,” the good Capricorn manager is constantly working to accumulate knowledge that will propel their career. They’re thrilled to share hard-earned wisdom over coffee with any employee who displays a genuine desire to advance in their field. They simply ask for hard work and trust in return.
The bad Capricorn manager is so heads down in their own work that it has turned them into a cold, hard pessimist. They take pride in the fact that they consistently reject being the center of attention (unlike insufferable Aries, Leo, Libra and Sagittarius), but they also have a deep desire to achieve a high social status. This appetite can fuel greedy, rigid, ruthless behaviors towards anyone who gets in the way of their success at work, even their own reports. The bad Capricorn manager is famous for their scathing emails and equally brutal group meetings where they will coldly interrogate people for failing to deliver great work. The bad Capricorn manager will make you painfully aware that they don’t need you to succeed.
Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18)
Ruled by Uranus, the strangest planet (its North Pole faces the Sun and its moons rotate backwards), the ultimate Aquarius manager is admirably unconventional with a revolutionary spirit. They are humanistic and altruistic with a deep desire to better society and build meaningful communities in and outside of work. They are well-spoken, rational, and forward-thinking. No idea is too out there for the good Aquarius manager because they have the utmost faith in their company and the creative people they hired. If they didn’t believe in the mission, rest assured they’d be spending their talents on a cause they could really get behind (and it would be weird). When working for a good Aquarius manager, expect a lot of laughter, spontaneity and absurdity.
The bad Aquarius manager has a major superiority complex. They are so taken by their own individuality and higher purpose to alleviate problems for groups of people that they choose to stay emotionally distant from individuals closest to them, including their direct reports. And you thought Leo was the narcissist! The bad Aquarius manager is also independent to a fault. They are a lone wolf who becomes more scatterbrained, disorganized and irresponsible the longer they go without a proper intervention from their team. The team has tried to schedule it, but Aquarius is constantly rescheduling their 1:1’s without any explanations. Aquarius doesn’t feel the need to explain because no one understands them anyways.
Pisces (Feb 19-March 20)
The ultimate Pisces manager is the sweetest soul you’ll ever have the privilege of working for. They are highly intuitive and compassionate like cousin Cancer, but Pisces is even more sensitive, creative and mystical. They have a deep understanding of the cyclical nature of business, and they doesn’t waste time adapting in any way that is necessary. The ultimate Pisces manager is brave in the face of vulnerability. They are never afraid to admit when they have made a mistake because they believe transparency activates empathy. The good Pisces manager is often found encouraging their employees to express their true selves in everything they do, leading workplace mental health initiatives, and offering their office as a safe space for emotionally distraught colleagues.
Sometimes all of that voluntary emotional labor can go sour for Pisces. The bad Pisces manager is an escapist who doesn’t function very well in the corporate world. They are easily discouraged and rely too heavily on the support of other coworkers who are not as burdened by self-pity. They can be seen as submissive and codependent, and this hinders their ability to affect real change as a leader. Their reports don’t take the bad Pisces manager very seriously, and they feel like they can’t give necessary, upwards feedback without hurting the boss’ feelings. Pisces is aware of all of this, and they’re crying about it right now.
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