Andrea has a background in Myers-Briggs and Western astrology. She mostly writes about relationships.
The Water Bearer Leading with a Cracked Vase
An Aquarius boss depends entirely on his or her level of maturity.
I have had a nightmare boss who was an Aquarius. This person was an annoying, know-it-all who I considered a ticking time bomb for HR. I for one cut my losses and went somewhere else. Some bosses are just not worth the pain and stress.
I want to help you learn how to cope with an Aquarius boss and know when they're too insane to deal with. Not all Aquarius bosses are like this. I'll help you understand what exactly is happening with your boss by showing how this particular zodiac sign has influence on him or her.
A terrible Aquarius boss will:
- Undermine or underestimate your abilities.
- Struggle to know how to grow you as an employee. They don't necessarily understand the steps it takes to train an employee and retain them for the long term.
- They likely say plenty of things that would get them in trouble with HR from sexist and racist comments, a slap in the face with their privilege, and inappropriate behavior.
- An Aquarius can be out of touch with their employees. You might think they're tone deaf to situations or can't read a room.
- They may make a bigger deal out of things than necessary. They may scrutinize you over tiny details.
- They think they know everything. They have the final say. They will go on and on about themselves. They don't know you. They only see themselves.
- Passive-aggressive. One moment you're the employee of the month, the next month your boss says he won't be resigning your contract.
- Aloof. You never know whether you'll have a bulldog boss coming at you with too much attention or if they'll suddenly vanish. She may one moment act like she knows everything and then the next... she says she doesn't know a thing.
- They like to embellish stories, especially about themselves.
- A negative Aquarius boss will feel ill fit for your operations. You'll feel like your manager is smart, but ill-equipped.
So What about a Good Aquarius Boss?
To put it simply, a great Aquarius boss has matured. They have certain qualities that could lead a team to victory. They don't believe there is such a thing as a bad employee, only bad managers.
The Aquarius needs to be humble, diligent, compassionate, and a good listener. The Aquarius needs to be conscientious of how their actions affect others. An Aquarius that's a great boss is a team player and motivates people to be the best versions of themselves.
A great Aquarius boss -- or even worker -- thinks before they speak or act. You don't want a boss who just talks off the cuff. You want a boss who sees the big picture, has a long term vision, and can remedy problems with grace and finesse.
The Aquarius type has all those capabilities when it is functioning correctly. But when an Aquarius doesn't function well and hasn't matured -- they can be an all out disaster for the company and most importantly -- you.
Greek Mythology and Why Uranus Has a Chip on His Shoulder
So why are Aquarius bosses either fantastic or a nightmare?
Let's try taking this issue and spinning it on its head. We can look to some of the mythology behind astrology.
Aquarius is the 11th sign of the Zodiac. They're ruled by the planet Uranus, one of the first rulers in Greek Mythology.
Uranus came every night to cover the earth in darkness and mate with Gaia. He hated the children that were a result of their relationship. Hesiod named their first six sons and six daughters the Titans. The three one-hundred-handed giants the Hekatonkheires, and the one-eyed giants the Cyclopes.
Uranus imprisoned Gaia's youngest children in Tartarus, deep within Earth, where they caused pain to Gaia. She shaped a great flint-bladed sickle and asked her sons to stop and defend themselves against their father, Uranus. Cronus, the youngest and most ambitious of the Titans, was willing: he ambushed his father and, well, castrated him. Uranus' flesh went into the sea.
Uranus retaliated. He called his sons Titanes Theoi, or "Straining Gods." From the blood that spilled from Uranus onto the Earth came forth the Giants, the Erinyes (the avenging Furies), the Meliae (the ash-tree nymphs), and, according to some, the Telchines. His flesh in the sea morphed into Aphrodite, a Greek goddess just about any amateur scholar should know.
After Uranus was deposed, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hekatonkheires and Cyclopes in Tartarus. Uranus and Gaia then prophesied that Cronus was destined to be overthrown by his own son, and so the Titan attempted to avoid this fate by devouring his young. He didn't prevent the prophecy from happening. Zeus, through deception by his mother Rhea, avoided this fate. And then Zeus, who was paranoid throughout his reign, became the ultimate leader of Olympus indefinitely.
Astrology and Greek Mythology
Astrology gains some of its nuances from Greek Mythology. Aquarius gains some of its story and understanding through the tale of Uranus. The Greek god could be seen as a positive figure for creation or an insecure and terrible mentor for his pupils.
A bad Aquarius boss is afraid they'll be overthrown. They may mention that they think they may get fired after the next quarter sales, they may over-zealously stay at the workplace often to make it seem like they're committed, or they may cut someone short who seems like a threat.
Aquarius has insecurity issues. They try to be bigger than they are, they want to be accepted, they have bad imposter syndrome. This is someone who tries too hard to impress, someone who constantly has one eye open while they sleep, and someone who is constantly looking for an upper hand.
They can make knee-jerk decisions because they think their intuition is telling them to do something to protect themselves or the company, but they mostly are too afraid to use their head to get things on track. They have out-of-whack intuition.
Most employees are not bad employees. Bosses need to give better directions, workplaces need better infrastructure, and benefits could vastly be improved on the whole. Most employees want to succeed, they want to live their lives and know they made a difference. Most don't want to just clock-in and get a paycheck -- that gets pretty dull after awhile. The Aquarius needs to stop passing judgment on others and accept them, come up with ways to retain employees, and stop using old and antiquated work methods, like PIPs and yearly performance reviews.
Instead the Aquarius needs to have a long term vision while also correcting things as they come on a daily basis. If you only stop to chat with your employees once for a yearly performance review, you're really doing a disservice to them.
The Aquarius needs to stop being afraid that someone else wants their job. Who cares that someone else wants your job? Aquarius is scared because they know Pisces is coming -- and they worry people will like Pisces better than them. Aquarius is worried they're not smart enough, they're not cool enough, or they're just not enough.
Never try to intentionally trigger the Aquarius' insecurities. They panic and start making uninformed decisions left and right. Unless you want chaos, don't trigger their insecurities.
Bad Experience with a Bad Boss
I have had a bad Aquarius boss. What was it like? The boss was new. He came in like a hurricane to the workplace. During his interview, he seemed nice. He was social, he asked good questions, and he seemed attentive to employees. Most of us agreed he was the right choice. It was all an act.
This nightmare of a boss did multiple things you should never do. Such as:
- Explain pregnancy to women because his wife has had multiple children.
- Yell in his office, yell in the workspace, walk around angry, temper tantrums. Can't handle a conversation? He yells to win the conversation.
- Openly talks negatively about employees and even mentions them by name.
- Writes emails about events where people could have gotten hurt and says he is proud they didn't get hurt... when in actuality people did get hurt in said events. If one of those people didn't get a lawyer to push back on that -- then workers really don't have enough rights or security to do so.
- Intrudes in people's personal space. Has no boundaries. Talks over people.
- Supervisor below him calls HR for his tone deaf ways during the pandemic. He throws a fit and then with some passive-aggression compliments her hat.
- Tells someone who is wanting a promotion they're not the right kind of minority for that hire.
So what do you do with a boss like this? I decided to leave. I suggest walking on the ice carefully. Other people from my department also left. Some of them took others with them to a new job and started something else for more money. Best scenario: you leave the bad boss for a new job and earn more money.
Don't lose hope just because you have a bad boss. The number one reason why people leave their workplace is because they don't get along with their manager. You're not alone! There are bad bosses everywhere. It's scary when you have a good boss and that person ends up moving to another company.
You often pick and stay at your job because of the boss. You can do what you can to make your tenure more enjoyable, but don't put yourself in a toxic situation that could result in court time. I suggest keeping as many documents as you can. Save important info, even have a lawyer read over documents and give you advise before you decide to sue. It's okay to get legal counsel even if you don't plan to sue. There are cheap ways to get help from lawyers, such as Legal Shield.
My nightmare boss would cause my stress level to go up as soon as I knew he was in the building or if I saw him. He was difficult to talk to and wouldn't take my thoughts or suggestions seriously. Bosses like this would excite an employment attorney. They're bound to do something stupid and cause a lawsuit -- if not many lawsuits.
You can't just bulldog your way through life. You can't just boss around people as if they're peons and expect them to stay. It's difficult for a boss to get along with everyone, especially if they have a large team, but there are some actions that can be avoided, and if your boss can't get some amount of respect from you -- then move on.
If it's not so easy to get away from your boss because you have to fulfill a contract or because of other reasons, here are some suggestions to make your experience more bearable until you can leave:
- Kill them with kindness. I say this multiple times in this hubpage, but seriously. You can diffuse some of the issues with kindness.
- Minimize interactions with the boss. Keep conversations short. Don't actively disagree with them. Don't engage with them unless necessary.
- Make sure you still report to work on time, get your work done, and keep your workspace clean.
- Don't have personal items at your workplace. Don't bring in family photos, don't bring in precious mementos. Keep it simple.
- Don't add them on social media to learn more about them. Don't add your boss unless you really like them. If you don't like them, it will be easier to block them if you never added them in the first place.
- Do not talk negatively about your boss at the workplace. Do not write about them on social media -- EVER.
- Dress to impress. You might not like them or your workplace, but dress like you do. Dress like you think it's the most respectful place on the planet.
- Avoid after work activities where your boss may join.
- Stick to subjects just about anyone will like: sports, weather, favorite grocery stores, popular TV shows, pets, etc.
- Watch your stress level. Count to 10. Get a therapist.
How to Win over an Aquarius Boss
An Aquarius needs someone that puts them at ease. Aquarius is full of nervous energy. They like to be around people that seem cool, funny, unique, or successful. Aquarius can feel out of place around people who are too normal.
Aquarius is looking for people that exceed expectations. They want a million different things. You should be flexible, prepared to change, and keep to good manners. Don't reveal everything to an Aquarius all at once. They think they know you simply from walking through a door and meeting you. Keep things about yourself a surprise.
Also, as soon as you have an Aquarius boss, take really good notes of things that happen to you on a daily basis. Save emails and documents from the boss, especially if you find them fishy or strange. My point is you want to build a file on them to cover your own butt.
An entitled Aquarius will make mistakes, mark my words. You likely won't have to do a lot to catch them in their tracks -- they'll have a bad email here and there, and if you record audio in the office, you might also catch them making an off-color remark.
Save these things. Don't use them too quickly, but know you have built a portfolio around them. This will be important in case you ever need to hire an employee attorney, and if you need to take them to HR. A really bad Aquarius boss thinks they are the salt of the earth, or at least they act like it. They will undermine you, insult you, and still think they're the coolest.
Bosses like this can send people to other jobs. A poor attitude from a boss who thinks they're cooler than everybody else will ruin the workplace vibe.
So be active and discrete about what you do. They don't need to know you're keeping a file on them. Also, don't save those documents and emails on your work computer. Save that stuff at home.
Make sure you read their emails. Try learning their inside jokes. Look at their social media and try to learn about their favorite things. They can be bought with cookies and cake, you can impress them with random knowledge, just don't try to copy their style. An Aquarius can be insecure, remember? So you don't want to be exactly like them. Copy cats kind of freak them out.
Handling an Aquarius Boss
- Be nice. Have excellent manners. Be likeable. Be conversational.
- Don't make them feel anymore insecure than they already feel. If new, try to be accommodating. Let them know about cool things in town. Ask them if the move was okay. Make a good first impression. Aquarius bosses notoriously rely on first impressions.
- Don't complain and run into their office every second. They might see through you, but they also might not see through you and then end up firing whoever you were complaining about. Hey, that might be what you want! Or was it? Aquarius can be a real dunce and will follow the trail YOU put before them. If they start firing willy-nilly, they will also hire willy-nilly. So be careful about your complaints. Instead try to resolve problems with other people before trying to get a higher up to resolve your conflict.
- Make sure you get the job done. Aquarius people are pattern oriented. The pattern and consistency you bring to the table is what they read. So if you have a bad experience with a supervisor, and that supervisor writes up a whole essay against you -- then you are in hot water. You want not just your boss to like you, but any managers below them. Do what you can to prevent bad reports about you. Aquarius is sensitive to words, so they might see a bad report about you as a matter of fact and not someone's opinion.
- Aquarius doesn't like stupidity. Think before you speak.
- Even if your Aquarius is aloof, don't be aloof. Stay on top of your job and the basics. The malfunctioning Aquarius likes to nit-pick about everything. Stay off their bad lists.
- Set boundaries. Don't let them do your job for you.
- Always have a plan B. It doesn't matter whether you have an Aquarius boss or someone else as your boss. You should always have another idea cooking for what job you could do instead. Keep your resume up to date, keep your Linkedin profile fresh, always be prepared for the worst. Layoffs are a natural part of workplaces. Contracts don't always get re-signed, furloughs happen, the economy crashes, and new political powers take over the world. Things generally are not always easy and breezy for the employee.
- The Aquarius will try to read you and get to know you. Make it easier for them. Leave positive clues on your desk, keep your social media fairly clean, and get people in the workplace to like you. The Aquarius will look into those clues, so remember -- you get to decide first how the Aquarius will perceive you whether the Aquarius likes it or not. I also advise that if the Aquarius gives you a bad impression from the get go to make it harder for them to read you and to keep your desk simple.
- Do not offer an Aquarius caffeine. They already are hyperactive whether they are showing it on the surface or not. Caffeine can take off some of their filter, and it might not be what you want.
- Once an Aquarius has made up their mind, don't try to argue or weasel your way out of something. You only have a handful of minutes to make your case. If you don't succeed the first or second time, don't keep trying. The Aquarius has an unmatched amount of stamina when it comes to being stubborn and having the final say. They may actually enjoy a scuffle, but after awhile if you don't make a good case those first few tries -- you won't ever make it happen.
- An Aquarius that is full of themselves is a bad listener. You will want to make sure you break through the noise to really get them to pay attention to you. Rehearse what you're going to say to them, think of ways to be charismatic, and make sure you get the point you really want across. I suggest with an Aquarius not getting straight to the point but mixing it in a narrative. This way what you want comes to you naturally and they may focus on something else you said. Aquarius needs a little bit of direction to make sure you get what you want.
- Aquarius often feels misunderstood. If you can actually understand and get along with this boss, you might be set for the rest of your career.
- Not all Aquarius bosses are bad. The ones that are bad have almost the same qualities in common: they're know-it-alls, entitled, bad listeners, arrogant, selfish, tone deaf, misogynistic, bad tempered, elitist, annoying, and nonsensical. I advise having thick skin. You may have to suffer through this boss for a short while. Don't let them get under your skin too easily. Keep your manners about you.
- Drop whatever you're doing and listen to them and give them full attention.
- Compliment them. Make them feel like they're special. Make them feel like they belong. Try to champion them and cheerlead for them to other people. Encourage your co-workers not to say bad things about their boss while at work. Get them on the same page with you. Negative comments should be reserved in private. You want to hide your annoyances with your boss the best you possibly can.
- Stay positive. Aquarius people don't like negative people.
- Predict their needs ahead of them.
- Stay on target and also exceed expectations.
- Give empathy and support. Aquarius bosses like people who care about them.
Why Are Some Aquarius Bosses Great While Others Are the Worst?
Aquarius is a complex sign. Most people who write about it get it wrong. What's important to remember is this air sign is fixed. It is born in the dead of winter, it is a later sign -- almost at the end of the cycle -- which causes it to be an old soul. It's also eccentric because it uses that eccentric behavior as a way to survive and bring about a better world.
What may help to understand Aquarius is to borrow some knowledge from Tarot cards. You can either pull an Aquarius out from the deck in the upright position or reversed.
An upright Aquarius will have all the qualities you would want in a person: compassionate, empathetic, great thinker, humble, smart, original, and opportunistic. When an Aquarius is pulled out of the deck in reverse, that's when you get all the bad qualities like arrogance, the know-it-all syndrome, insecurities, and the other negative quirks.
Some Aquarius types might really struggle to use their more positive qualities and stand in the upright position, while for others it is more natural. There is some variance where they could change their outlook and secure a better position. It will take hard work, and mostly for the Aquarius, they'll need to fail and get rejected some. Aquarius needs some opportunities to transform and really reach their enlightenment.
Most Aquarius types -- because of their fixed quality -- will likely fall on one of these poles... the upright position or in reverse. It's hard for them to fall somewhere in the middle because then they're carrying both empathy and arrogance, which maybe that's possible to be a okayish Aquarius, but not likely in a management role.
The world needs a little bit of each of the signs. Aquarius is important and brings a lot to the table. When an Aquarius is acting arrogant and making your life miserable, they're rejecting the true nature of what they're supposed to be and their role in the world. An Aquarius could get caught up in the wrong ideas like an obsession with money, looks, lust, and all the generic sins, so to speak.
The best way to deal with an Aquarius is to kill them with kindness. Your boss who is a jerk might be really scared to go against policy. As long as you don't put anything on their radar that's too insane, then you can protect your future.
If you don't click with your boss and you find your workplace toxic, the best thing you can do is, of course, start looking for a new job. You don't have to subject yourself to a bad working environment forever. Killing something with kindness will only go so far. You need to work in a place where you feel supported and where your mental health doesn't take a big hit.
Traits of an Aquarius in Reverse
- Bad Listener
- Makes hasty decisions
- Tone deaf
- Can't read a room
- Thinks they're funny when they're not
- Struggles to connect with others
- Loud, obnoxious
- Focused on the wrong aspects: greedy, prideful, lustful
- Misogynistic, racist
- Holier than thou
- Lacks vision, doesn't know how to guide, direct, or mentor employees
Traits of an Aquarius in the Upright Position
- Careful, cautious, deliberate
- Compassionate / empathetic
- Friendly, approachable
- Great listener, may listen more than talk
- Great resource of information
- Can set boundaries between ideals and reality
- Considerate of other view points
- Apologizes when necessary
- Diffuses conflict situations
- Seeks harmony in the workplace
- Makes positive impactful decisions, excellent problem solver
- Retains employees for the long term because they feel respected and that their needs are heard and understood
- Abundance of creativity
Understanding the Sign of the Aquarius
Immature Aquarius Boss Types
|Category||Aquarius||How It Spells Disaster|
Aloof and cold planet. Feels it needs to make up for something. In Greek Mythology, Uranus was insecure and ruthless. He was always looking for ways to protect himself.
This is a stubborn person. Your boss likes to have things their way. He or she can be a bad listener. Once they've made their opinion clear, don't try to change it.
The Aquarius is strange and hard to get to know. They constantly have the upper hand and know how to surprise you. They enjoy surprises, even negative ones sometimes.
Aquarius is super intelligent, and if not humble, they'll come off as arrogant and a know-it-all.
Aquarius thinks they have seen it all, but they haven't. They haven't reached the Zodiac's full potential at 12, which makes them slightly insecure. They have big dreams and want the world to be utopian. They have ideals, but they're not always in reality.
Again, they can be aloof and cold. Sometimes the Aquarius is bleak and too into themselves. Other times, they're too childish and unpredictable. They can be unreasonably harsh, and other times too isolating.
The Mind / Intelligence
This is someone who prides intelligence, and sometimes thinks too much when a simple solution will suffice. They prize their brain. They sometimes neglect matters of the heart or other components that make for a good team or a successful team.
House of Cards
Spades / Swords
Aquarius deals with the house of swords. If they haven't mastered it, they'll fight with a blunt sword. They'll use the weapon to only attack and not diffuse situations or learn how to defend. They can be too hasty, arrogant, and even deadly. They can bring misfortune if they don't know how to properly use a sword or spade. They want to win the battle but sometimes at too great a cost. Sometimes they're impersonal and make poor deisions for the sake of one battle. They need to rely on better cards within the suit. The King of Swords is better than the 7 of Swords.
Self-Improvement for the Aquarius Boss
You might be an Aquarius and a boss who has stumbled onto this page. You might be wondering what you can do to be a better boss and to drop some of the more negative qualities you have. You not only want to be a better manager, but a better person.
Signs are like plants. They need time to grow and sometimes they need to be uprooted. An Aquarius is a complicated plant to raise. If you feel you've grown in the wrong direction, there are some actions you can take to get into better shape. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Volunteer. You do best when you serve people. If it's not coming to you naturally, look for ways that you can serve your community in your off time. It's important to treat your neighbor as yourself. It's the golden rule. It's also a good mantra for the Aquarius.
- Give more than you receive. If you receive a present, give out two presents to others. Look around you and see how you're blessed and consider how you can give back. If you're a great boss then maybe you have a lot of money -- start up a scholarship fund, pay off some student loans for others to secure their future, or look around at your employees. Surely one of them has a need that you could help, whether outright or in secret. Maybe someone needs some car repairs or someone needs extra money to make it through winter. Think more about how you can serve not just lead.
- Consider the content you consume. An Aquarius will go the right way by what they read, listen to, and watch. You need some kind of religion or meditation. Read some books on how to live a good and purposeful life. Consider the content that is turning you into a negative person and drop it. You can do more to stretch yourself to be a better person. When you're a better individual, you will do more for society. Aquarius leads by how they perform in society by showing others what we owe to each other. Need something more secular? Try watching the Good Place. Get into philosophy books.
- Aquarius types tend to be moody. Some of the easiest things you can do is create some consistency for yourself. Aquarius struggles to put together physical routines because they're so in their heads. An Aquarius could spend hours alone writing, doing math formulas, or solving problems and completely forget about their physical needs. Instead make sure you have a consistent bed time, eating schedule, and exercise routine. Your body will thank you for putting energy into it. When you don't have great sleep, you won't perform as well in the day and you may get moody. Without proper nutrition, your body is more likely to have to fight illness. Get some motion into your body -- going sedentary puts stress on your heart. You need to get up and move.
- For every negative comment you have about an employee, find 3 things that make them worthwhile. Reflect on where are their strengths and talents. Every employee has strengths and weaknesses. Often our strength is because we have sacrificed something else. Focus on building on strengths, not belittling someone for their weaknesses.
- If you notice that team members are not working together, consider restructuring where people would be better fit. You need to be conscious of your employees and understand how they best work together. Don't make it obvious who you think is the weakest link. You need to figure out how to help them.
- Keep good notes and circle back to items and give consistency. Aquarius loves variety, but when you forget about consistency, you will prevent growth.
- Make sure you listen to all parties. You need to think about everyone that is involved. If you get a complaint in your office, then you need to hear from the other person. Don't necessarily make it obvious that someone complained about that worker. You may want to call up a larger meeting to discuss something after the fact to resolve tensions, to come up with a game plan to resolve issues in the future, and so other people can see each other's perspective. Often people complain because they don't understand someone and their decision making -- sometimes calling a meeting to hash it out helps them see and understand the person better, and sometimes helps solve the conflict.
- Think before you speak. If you have something negative to say, filter it out. It's impossible to know how people really perceive you. People are good actors. Don't get caught up in petty things. Some people you think like you, don't. Some people who you think don't like you are actually your biggest fans.
- Know when you've taken on too much. Prevent burn out. Know when to delegate responsibilities.
- Avoid favoritism. It's hard to do, but try to find the good in all the people around you. Aquarius when functioning correct is the master of socializing. You can be charismatic. You can get people to like you in unexpected ways (I know I said not to worry about getting people to like you... but that's partly because if you do it right, you won't need to worry.)
© 2020 Andrea Lawrence
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on October 27, 2020:
Interesting to read, though I'm not sure how you'd even know you was working for an Aquarius boss half the time.