OFFICE SUPERMAN: Make Yourself Indispensable in the Workplace

Alan Axelrod, Author . Running Press $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7624-1971-5

You don't need superpowers to be an "office Superman," says Axelrod. You just need to prove to co-workers that you're reliable and indispensable. Axelrod (Everything I Know About Business I Learned from Monopoly ) certainly knows a lot about the Man of Steel, calling upon 66 years' worth of comic books to tease out lessons on dealing with bosses like Perry White and competitors like Lex Luthor. One would think that the strip's mythology would provide plenty of illustrative examples for Axelrod's career advancement tips, so it's a pity his examples aren't actually illustrative. Though Axelrod describes all sorts of workplace scenarios, he shows barely any pictures of Superman in action, or even Clark Kent being mild-mannered, thereby diminishing much of the rhetorical impact. The deeper problem, though, is that the focus on Superman provides only a superficial distinction from non-superpowered career advice. Axelrod's advice is generally banal and may even strike some as old-fashioned. A chapter on office fashion, for example, is so conservative it bans bow ties and earrings as too provocative. Earrings on men, that is—despite Axelrod's recognition of plucky Lois Lanes in the modern workforce, he doesn't seem to consider the possibility that his wisdom might be applied across gender lines. The concept has a certain gee whiz factor, but the results may have suffered the effects of kryptonite. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; 7-city author tour. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/08/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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