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The helicopter leader, manager or supervisor is one who is continually interfering with their direct reports, when not asked - constantly checking in, suggesting, fixing, educating, advising, improving, one-upping, interrogating, explaining, and otherwise "bothering" folks, when folks are not asking them for help or support.

Helicopter bosses often have some psycho-social-emotional need that prevents them from leaving others alone. Often this need in rooted in some sense of insecurity, or in a need for control and power, or a need for perfection, or even a need to be needed (i.e, seen, heard, acknowledged, appreciated, or loved). Interfering and bothering others is how they assuage one or more of these needs.
Matthew "helicopter boss" Schmalz, is a fictional service manager for a mechanical contractor. Matthew calls his employees multiple times a day to tell them how their job should be done and to point out their mistakes. This makes him a definite helicopter boss.
by DEEMCol November 11, 2011
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