Editor’s Note: In the spirit of the season, we’re re-publish the four management columns this month that featured a Halloweenish theme.

We’re rolling through the spooky month of October and working our way toward Halloween by looking at some of the scariest types of bosses there are.
Last week, we talked about The Zombie and discussed ways to survive that experience. This week, we delve a bit further into the sinister world of supervisors and examine (Vincent Price organ music here) . . . The Witch.
It’s hard to find too many people who have worked for The Witch . . . and survived to tell the tale. The Witch tends to capture poor unsuspecting workers with her false looks and fake charms (remember Snow White!). Sometimes The Witch can make herself look very attractive and can mask her true terror. Because inside and out, The Witch is all about one thing – herself.
She has an ego the size of the underworld and she doesn’t care one tiny bit about who she steps on, or worse, throws into the demotion dungeon, never to be seen or heard from again.
(And don’t let the pronoun throw you. A witch and an ego can be he just as easily as she! Business Playbook is just capitalizing on the Hollywood stereotype!)
The Witch has great powers and casts spells that magically transform excellent work from staff members into her own. When The Witch’s boss comes calling, the only thing anyone sees is The Witch’s name all over the best work and poor, unsuspecting staff members stuck with the sloppy work The Witch herself threw together. She calls it the switcheroo spell.
The Witch also has gadgets and gimmicks at her disposal. First and foremost, there’s (again with the organ music!) . . . the broom!
The Witch uses the broom to sweep away anyone underneath her who’s good work she can’t take credit for. She has a few ways of doing it, too. Her favorite is to pick an argument with the talented worker and then yank out the “insubordination potion.” With it, she can march over to the HR wizards and, voila, make the worker disappear. Poof!
The Witch also has her all-powerful crystal ball. She uses it to spy on bosses, co-workers and staff. In so doing, The Witch can stay in her dingy gray castle turret and gaze menacingly into her crystal ball and find out what everyone is up to (sometimes the crystal ball can be substituted with a person who is usually known as The Snitch). The Witch uses that information to plot her next self-serving, evil plan.
Fear not though. There are ways to work for The Witch and survive. Contrary to popular legend, fire is not the best answer. That just causes all sorts of problems with the local heroes in the fire department. Water isn’t that effective either (as in the Wicked Witch of the West from Wizard of Oz fame). What works best with The Witch are the two things that scare her the most: The truth and hard work!
Mixing your own potion of good, honest work will keep you safe from The Witch’s clutches!
 
Next week: The Ghost

Business Playbook is written by Tim Timmons. Timmons’ book, Coaching Success: Creating Champions for the Business World is available at www.tim-timmons.com.