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Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job

ISBN: 978-0-470-45764-1
288 pages
July 2009
Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job (0470457643) cover image


An indispensable guide to dealing with challenging, childish boss behavior and building a great career, with laugh- out-loud humor built in. Based on extensive interviews among workers, managers and psychologists, Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant™ draws hilarious but true parallels between toddlers and managers. When under stress, both often have trouble moderating their power, or lose the ability to think rationally. Traits in common include tantrum-throwing, demanding, stubborn, moody, fickle, self-centered, needy and whiny behavior. BADD (Boss Attention Deficit Disorder) is discussed as part of “Short Attention Spans.” There are 20 chapter traits in all, divided into “Bratty” and “Little Lost Lamb” categories, for easy reference, including real anecdotes and many useful tips.

When bad bosses run amok in companies, nobody wins. This book shows readers how to build positive relationships with even the most out-of-control boss, and still thrive in your job. The key to success lies in dealing with a Terrible Office Tyrant (or TOT™) much like a parent deals with a troublesome toddler. With true stories and time-tested solutions, this is the perfect guide managing a boss stuck in his Terrible Twos. Taylor takes you behind all the bossy blustering, so that you can focus on getting ahead – and achieve career excellence.

Savvy top management will also gain insight on what not to do with their team. They know that Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT) managers may not be in plain sight (they don’t leave juice stains on the hallway carpet!) But they do wreak havoc on the bottom line. A special section helps senior management and Human Resource departments mitigate TOT behavior for a more productive workplace.

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Table of Contents



Getting Started: Advice for Employees.

Part I. Bratty Behavior.

1. Bragging.

2. Bullying.

3. Demanding.

4. Ignoring.

5. Impulsiveness.

6. Lying.

7. Self-Centeredness.

8. Stubbornness.

9. Tantrums.

10. Territorialism.

11. Whining.

Part II. Little Lost Lambs.

12. Endless Questioning.

13. Fantasy World.

14. Fickleness.

15. Helplessness.

16. Irrational Fears.

17. Forgetfulness.

18. Mood Swings.

19. Neediness.

20. Short Attention Spans.


Special Section: Advice for Bosses—TOT Proof Your Company.

About Lynn Taylor.


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Author Information

Lynn Taylor is a leading expert and spokesperson on career, hiring, and workplace issues, as well as an advisor and consultant to job seekers and executives. She is the founder of Lynn Taylor Consulting, where she focuses on employment, motivation, and related management issues, offering seminars and interactive workshops on these subjects. For more information, visit TameYourTOT.com.
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"Exceptionally helpful new book...excellent tips."
- JOYCE LAIN KENNEDY, national career columnist, Tribune Media Services, author of multiple career bestsellers, including Resumes For Dummies.

"Every firm will want to ensure that they are not a TOT incubator!"
SABEER BHATIA, cofounder of Hotmail, visionary, developer of the "Silicon Valley of India"

"Lynn Taylor helps you decode your boss...what barbs mean and how to deflect them."

"A savvy work read."

"Useful to many who feel trapped dealing with bad upper management."

"Insightful and practical…for anyone (and that means everyone) with a boss."
ROBIN KOVAL, bestselling coauthor of The Power of Nice & The Power of Small

"Nobody understands the psychodynamics of workplace relationships like Lynn Taylor."
DAPHNE ROSE KINGMA, bestselling author of ten relationship books, 6-time Oprah guest

"The advice in Taylor's book is preferable to going on the hunt for another job, except as a last resort."

"Well-researched and thought-out…Being able to identify behaviors and their triggers, and use of Taylor’s coping strategies, will increase productivity and bring out the best in every employee — from the top down."

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Press Release

July 16, 2009
Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant

“The HIGH Relevance of Lynn Taylor’s Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT)In the Worst (and Best) of Times”

A quick retrospective: The financial world has been turned upside down…Some of America’s largest companies are in Chapter 11…Experts say the economy won’t fully recover until 2013…High visibility corporate leaders are doing jail time…

With this perfectly depressing backdrop, rampant bad boss behavior—bullying, demanding, tantrum-throwing, and whining—is the icing on the cake. Right?

Yes and no. “It’s a mistake to think too conventionally – that it’s all the economy’s fault,” says workplace expert Lynn Taylor, who has studied boss behavior in good times as well as bad. “It is a fact that in the current labor climate, TOTs are in high gear because they hold all the hiring cards,” she explains. “But they also behave this way during any period of stress – even in good times, when there’s unwieldy workloads to dole out, or when they are just having a bad day,” she said.

Taylor’s new book Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant—TOT™ (Wiley; July 31, 2009; Hardcover; ISBN: 9780470457641; $21.95) identifies terrible office tyrants, or TOTs in 20 different flavors. She offers ways to tame them based on 20 years in corporate America – many of them with large employment firms studying workplace dynamics – coupled with the practical know-how of raising two young boys.

“Bad bosses and tiny tots behave in strikingly similar ways, and the tricks for managing them are virtually the same,” says Taylor.

“We are all TOTs inside, but when it comes to the office, the child inside should stay there,” says Taylor. Surprisingly, many bosses are little lost lambs who act out to cover the pressure they feel and the fear of being exposed as incompetent.”

“Especially in today’s super-stressful work environment, employees at all levels need to understand what makes a TOT tick, and then defuse juvenile walking time bombs before they implode and drain productivity.”

Taylor says that a “TOT-proofed” workplace is achievable with the help of a few simple, yet transformational, techniques. She cites CALM, an acronym for Communicate, Anticipate, Laugh, and Manage, as one of the most effective.

“This book is not about boss-bashing. It’s an enabling roadmap for businesses to function harmoniously and efficiently minus the personality landmines that can be found anywhere in today’s business environment. This is valuable information for tough times as well as better times.”

According to Taylor, learning to tame your TOT can turn a bad situation around 180 degrees. “You can reduce job tension, harmonize the workplace environment, get on with your career and make the company more profitable. “For senior management, it’s about creating an atmosphere that makes it safe for success. I tell everyone, regardless of their level within an organization: you can tame your TOT. You just have to make sure that there’s always something in it for the Terrible Office Tyrant,” she concludes.

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Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job (US $26.95)

-and- Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life, 2nd Edition, Revised and Updated (US $18.95)

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