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How To Be A Super Hero At Work

How To Be A Super Hero At Work

We’ve all felt the cringe and goosebumps at work when the job becomes repetitive, the boss’s face gets blood red over a simple mistake, and all we want to do is change in the phone booth, show our inner super hero and save the day.

It’s when problems are not fixed and wrongs are not righted that we lose a little snippet of ourselves every day. We forget our own raison d’être—the purpose of being as it relates to our career. Poor Clark Kent remains in a dull, mundane existence without the slightest hope of leaping a tall building in a single bound. Life is all about managing which battles and which wars to fight, but in the workplace an extra layer of caution should be added—further complicating the already painstaking process of self-discovery.

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So when is enough, enough? When do you stand up and reveal the super hero underneath your power suit?

1. You Have No Skeletons.

You are a great employee. You show up on time. You do what is asked without complaint. There is no debate to be had regarding your commitment, loyalty, and simple respect for the job. There are many people in the world who possess great talent and great skill. Those who don’t sometimes have to show commitment in other ways. Those who do should make it an extra point to behave with humility. There is nothing worse than entitlement and elitist behavior. The same rules apply to everyone, and no matter how capable you are, respect for yourself, others, and your job will always be revered first before anyone coos over your ability to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

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2. You Keep Your Opinions to Yourself.

You weigh up the consequences of bonding over water cooler rants carefully. Instead, you think of the bigger picture, where as a respected source your voice is heard and not ignored. It always feels good to identify with those around you, but any time temptation strikes, think to yourself: “I wonder what bearing this may have down the road when I am truly in need of support and am struggling for my boss’s respect…?” Those circling the water cooler may begin to look at you as a mentor as well, instead of a contributing Negative Nancy.

3. You Don’t Cry Wolf.

As a transition from the above, you do not share in mindless chatter. You back up your grievances with fact. You do not participate in nor instigate the same rants over and over without purpose. The most powerful tool in your arsenal sometimes is the ability to possess self-control. If you have made your complaint heard, wait for it…wait for it…and if nothing is done, go back to the drawing board and figure out the best way to approach it. Or, when appropriate, take initiative and fix the issue yourself.

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4. You Understand the Importance of Timing.

Timing is everything. There’s a reason why the “slow clap” is now an urban pop culture phenomenon. Very few understand the beauty of a slow clap, because they lack the depth and patience to wait for the right moment to make a statement. You have to trust me on this, but the saying is true: You will just know…and it is so cool when it happens.

5. Stand Proudly at the Lectern and Guide Your People.

Not every manager, boss, or superior was meant to be a leader. Sometimes one is thrust into this position and doesn’t know how to deal with it. It is important that when you do engage and proudly bare your vulnerability, you are constructive. You provide insight and leadership by also understanding the boundaries, respecting them, and professionally exceeding the expectations. Do so and you may find yourself providing an intervention that could very likely improve the atmosphere for everyone: management, intern, and future CEO alike.

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Just always remember to keep your power suit on, change in the phone booth, and be sure to let your powers show in a time of crisis when the ordinary becomes extraordinary and the struggles you face warrant the triumph of a slow clap.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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