“So, What’s Your Book About?”

In my daily travels, after people ask me the name of my forthcoming book, their first reaction is usually laughter. They immediately understand that Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant™ (TOT) is a self-help guide to make the workplace more manageable, offering some laughs along the way. Mission accomplished! But the follow-up comments are always fascinating. “I could have written several anecdotes for your book!” “Gosh, [to a nearby subordinate], I’m not a TOT, am I?!” The dutiful subordinate blushes and replies: “Ha. Of course not!” “You must be the Dr. Spock of the workplace.” “Yeah, I cringed when I heard how some (former) managers spoke to employees!” When people want to know more, and ask, “What’s it really about?” – I usually say something to the effect of: “It helps you define your career rather than letting it define you.” I quickly describe the “TOT™” and toddler parallel of out-of-control office behavior. Then I explain how mastering the “parental” techniques of dealing with the similar traits is invaluable and, transferable –and that it will help them in their careers –maybe even in life. But one of the cornerstones of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant™(TOT): How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job is about shared responsibility. When I first realized the similarities between children and bosses with too much power, I knew that by offering that perspective to employees, it would help them manage up. But the other side of the coin was that it would also help managers do their part from an employer’s’ perspective – it would help them humanize the workplace. A win-win, collaborative proposition. No matter your level in an organization, having the ability to master relationships with those around you is a legitimate, personal growth commitment. Not surprisingly, it also the secret to being a great leader. CEOs and senior business leaders can “TOT-proof their companies” and make their environment safe for success. More than anything else, my book makes it crystal clear that it’s incumbent upon everyone to set limits to bad office behavior and reinforce the good. Just as a good parent can reward good behavior and rebuke the bad, the same techniques work 9 to 5. So, what’s my book about? It’s a customizable guide to assist you in taking command of your own personal career currency. In the process, you can help your boss and fellow employees humanize your workplace.