Column: Power posturing for ladder-climbing bosses


Commentary by Curtis Honeycutt

Do you want to hit the fast-forward button on your career? Do you want to collect underlings like baseball cards? If so, I suggest adopting a few fundamental power posture. This is all about making yourself look as big as possible. Wear as many jackets as possible; you’ll be sweaty, but your co-workers will fear you. Also, stand like you’re trying to scare away a bear in the forest.

My favorite power posture takes some work. Before anyone else gets into the office, make everyone else’s chair shorter than yours so you’ll look like a giant. It may take some MacGyver ingenuity to accomplish this, but you’re destined for greatness. Do what it takes to literally rise above everyone else. Before you know it, they’ll all be your subordinates.

Just like it’s essential to view everyone at work as a subordinate, it’s also crucial to recognize a subordinate sentence clause when you see one. A subordinate, or dependent clause, is a clause that can’t stand alone as a sentence, but it adds meaning to a sentence’s main clause. The main clause, which is independent, can stand on its own. How about some examples?

I am going to work this morning.

This sentence stands on its own; however, that’s not all the information or meaning I intend to convey. Allow me to introduce a subordinate clause:

I am going to work this morning if I can find my keys.

In this sentence, “if I can find my keys” not only doesn’t stand alone as a sentence, but it adds some important additional information into the sentence. This clause is a subordinate clause.

The word that introduces the subordinate clause itself is called a subordinator, which sounds like some kind of underwater Terminator knock-off movie. Common subordinators include because, since, if, although, while, before, after, unless and until. If your subordinate clause begins your sentence, always add a comma after the clause. Becoming familiar with these subordinators will make it easy for you to recognize subordinate clauses.

If you want that six-figure check, you’re going to have to tower over the mere mortal coworkers who either want to be you or date you. Just like subordinate clauses, they can’t stand on their own apart from the proximity of your sheer awesomeness. Before you know it, they’ll be re-naming all the Forbes lists after you.