Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Turn 'Superman' into Team Player

Do you turn off the people you most need to play on your team? Do your clients, employees or bosses roll their eyes when you feel you're giving a great performance?

If you're one of the many bosses who have  "Superman Complex" that may be exactly what you're doing -without realizing it.

And the answer is to become a team player, according to Prasad Kaipa and Navi Radiou, a successful "team" that wrote Smart to Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom.

Kaipa contends there are five ways to determine if you're a "Superman Entrepreneur" someone who is NOT a team player-and start working to change that.

"This is especially true when entrepreneurs believe they're better than their underlings... when they believe they're stronger, smarter, faster and better than their workers," says Kaipa.l If you think you may be a Superman Entrepreneur, look over this checklist and see if you're behaving this way: 

1. Rules aren't made for me. Rules of nature didn't apply to the mythic Superman, either. But are you demanding others adhere to your regulations, which you choose to ignore? Do you demand your workers clean up after leaving the eating area but leave the premises a mess? 

Do you require personal calls be kept to a minimum but insist on being social during work hours y ourself? Are you careless with expenses, while demanding others keep careful records? If your workplace is slowly becoming an "I and them" environment, you're in trouble. 

2. I'm indestructible, not vulnerable. You may not be allergic to kryptonite, as Superman was, but at least he could define his Achilles' heel. You may be clueless about which of your unflattering personality characteristics could ruin you. 

If several people have hinted about certain behaviors, and you've been inclined to dismiss those comments, consider denial is a powerful thing that warrants further exploration. 

3. I'm the leader you must follow. Superman had a fan club, but remember that you hired workers, not sycophants. If you sense you're falling prey to adulation, and that you're embracing a "my way or the highway" persona, snap out of it. 

4. I'm embracing the role of Superman more each day. Not even Superman wore his cape all the time. He was Clark Kent and Superman. He had a line of demarcation. 

If yours is getting blurry, and you find yourself taking the swagger you demonstrate with clients home with you, make every effort to spend more time with the nice guy you used to be. 

5. The fastest way to a goal is the best way. You may not be able to fly, and that's okay. But if you're substituting the speed of self-mobilized transport for cutting corners that could negatively affect safety or government regulations, you're headed up a slippery slope. 

"But if you're guilty of the above behaviors, then you need to find your inner and more noble Superman," Kaipa adds. "That means having a higher purpose, where your goal is not just about eventually selling your start-up and succumbing to an ends-justifies-the-means attitude." 


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