Working Wounded Blog: The Keys to Becoming the Boss

Are you finally ready for that corner office and a reserved parking spot? Tired of waiting for your boss to die? As a service to you, my readers, I'm going to give you a much easier path to a fancier office, bigger paycheck and higher-quality headaches.

Take the following quiz, and you'll immediately know if you've got what it takes to be a leader. The only thing that will then hold you back from making that magical leap from being the delegatee to being the delagator is to convince the management that this test is much cheaper than the extensive evaluations used in determining the "keepers" of your company. But then again, Ms. or Mr. UpWardlyMobile, this is a small price to pay for a potentially huge jump up the corporate ladder.

The answers, and what your score means to your career, appear at the bottom of the column.

1. Define "Management by Objective," "Reengineering" and "Theory Y Management." 10 points

2. What is the No. 1 employee complaint? 10 points

3. What is your company's vision statement? 25 points

4. What is the most precious resource for your company? 15 points

5. Multiple choice: Which best describes your approach to leadership? 15 points

a. I deserve my obscene paycheck and options, because I make the tough decisions

b. If indicted, I'm ready to claim that I really didn't know what was going on

c. All of the above

Answers and scoring, and what your score means for your career:

1. Give yourself 0 points if you have any clue about what "Management by Objective," "Reengineering" or "Theory Y Management" means. If you have no idea, give yourself 10 points. You should know by now that old fads are not worthy of the bandwidth of an up-and-coming executive.

2. The No. 1 employee complaint: "It's too cold." The second most common employee complaint: "It's too hot." These answers came from a study by the International Facility Management Association. Give yourself 10 points if you got either of those answers correct. But give yourself 15 points if you refused to answer the question, because the only employee complaints that should concern you are those of your people.

3. OK, vision statements from most organizations are forgettable platitudes that should make any sane person wretch. But remember, you want to join the ranks of people who spent days at some fancy resort to come up with this BS. So give yourself 25 points if you can recite your company's current vision statement. Unfortunately, this isn't hand grenades or horse shoes, so close doesn't count. To get the points, you've got to nail it perfectly.

4. If you answered that the most precious resources for your company are the employees, give yourself 20 points. OK, I know that I said the question was only worth 15 points, but given the demographic time bomb facing our economy (76 million boomers vs. only 44 million Gen-Xers), you deserve extra credit. If you said your boss, subtract 10 points from your total. You should know that sucking up should always be focused on the person who signs your paychecks and not a silly quiz on a Web site.

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