Is Your Boss a George Bush or a Bill Clinton?

February 11, 2009 ( - In a recent Randstad survey comparing presidential personalities with boss personalities, no single president's personality type emerged as the frontrunner.

According to a Randstad press release, 20% of respondents describe their boss as a “Dominator,” someone prone to being bossy, demanding and domineering (traits possessed by Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Teddy Roosevelt), while 19% said their boss is more of a “Good Guy,” one who doesn’t feel overwhelmed by stress (traits possessed by Dwight Eisenhower and George Washington).

Only 15% of employees surveyed consider their boss a “Maintainer,” characterized as staying focused on the job and working slowly, but steadily, such as presidents George H. W. Bush and Harry Truman.

Only 12% of those surveyed consider their boss an “Actor” (spirited, charming) or an “Extrovert” (enthusiastic and vivacious) – characteristics possessed by presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, who were, according to the release, the two presidents more employees wished their boss was like (28% and 24%, respectively).

Only 7% of respondents characterize their boss as a “Philosopher,” one who is curious and inquisitive (like Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter).

Of seven presidents listed in the survey, employees were least likely to wish their boss was like George W. Bush (5%) and George Washington (4%). Nineteen percent of Gen Y (ages 18 – 34) respondents chose Abraham Lincoln.

In addition, twice as many women (22%) than men (11%) wish their boss was like John Kennedy, while men favor Ronald Reagan (28%) more so than women do (19%).

When employees were asked by Randstad whether they would "re-elect" their boss if given the opportunity, 66% of respondents said they would. Nearly two-thirds of those who have a boss and have an opinion on the topic (63%) agreed that their boss handles stress and adversity well, while 51% said their boss's management style brings out the best in their work.

About half (49%) of respondents said they wish to possess similar or the same traits as their boss, but this jumps to 56% among Gen Y. Almost two-thirds (65%) reported their boss's personality is right for his/her responsibilities.

More than half of employees who expressed an opinion (55%) said they have changed their work style/habits based on their boss's personality. More Gen Y employees echoed this sentiment than Matures (age 55+), as did men over women.

However, the news for bosses is not all good. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said their boss is respected for his/her business expertise, but doesn't have people skills, and more than a quarter (27%) indicated their boss's personality traits were worthy of impeachment proceedings.