It was like magic. My friend had just been promoted and
transferred to a new office. When he got to the office for the first morning in
his new job, he realized that he’d forgotten to stop for his usual morning
He laughed and said aloud to no one in particular, “God, I wish I had a cup
A few moments later, his assistant brought him a cup of coffee. He was
There’s an important lesson there. The people who work for you pay attention
to what you say. When you’re the boss, the people who work for you are more
likely to laugh at your jokes, take your musings as policy statements, and bring
you coffee when you didn’t really ask for it.
When you’re the boss, you have a lot more influence. It’s like those magical
powers that superheroes have in the comics and the movies. And, just like the
super heroes, you can use your powers for good or for evil.
Act like a jerk, make people wait on you, indulge your whims, or offer long
lectures on just how things should be done and you’re using your powers for
evil. The insidious thing is that it might work for a while. Eventually, though,
you may get compliance, but you won’t get commitment.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You can set a good example, treat
people with respect, solicit opinions and value them, and work hard to both care
for your people and accomplish the mission. Then you’re using your powers for
good. Use your powers for good and you’ll be the kind of boss that people want
to work with and will work hard for.
Think of it this way. There are two kinds of superheroes.
There are heroes like Superman. Superman has super powers all the time.
They’re part of who he is. Batman is different. Batman is a super hero when he’s
in his Batman role. As a boss, you’re like Batman, a normal human being
who has super powers for the moments you’re the boss.
Boss’s Bottom Line
Use those powers wisely and for good.