My Dear Luck,
I work in the marketing department of a firm. We are a team of 8 people reporting in to a boss who reports to the business head of the unit. Each of the team members have a defined role. And there is respect for mutual work. As you would know, marketing is a lot about fresh ideas. Our problem especially my problem is with the boss. While presenting to his superiors, he takes the credit for the idea that I suggested to him. Complete credit and he owns the idea and positions it as if he has generated it and is asking me to execute it. Initially, on the first two to three instances I ignored it. Now, it has become a demotivating factor. I feel I will never get credit for my work. I do not know how to tell him about this. Some times I also feel guilty that he is my superior and he has full right to own up the ideas and execute it. I am confused and do not know If I should bury the subject or should I address it. Please guide me. If you think I am making unnecessary issue of it, then I shall bury it. What should I do?
Free Ideas Giver
Dear Ms Free Ideas Giver,
Today you are you That is truer than TRUE There is no one alive Who is YOUER than you By Dr Seuss.
Have you read Dr Seuss books? I got to know about these books through my children. He has amazing quotes and I love them. And it is so true, there is no one as unique as you- complete with your ideas and your thoughts.
I am glad you have brought it up. Any thought and I mean any thought, small or big, if it is in the path of your productivity, it should be addressed. So stay unafraid and don’t question your thoughts about your superior. One day, you will surpass this superior in your quality of work and achievements, because real leaders do not steal team’s work.
The question is how to handle it. There are several ways you could go about it:
- Talk to him politely and tell him that you are disappointed for not getting any credit. Chances are – he will ignore this or tell you he always gives credit and will reflect in appraisals.
- For your next idea presentation- you make sure you do it in front of an audience- who would acknowledge your contribution.
- I would take a bolder and funnier route- I would put a flag on my workstation- saying ideas accepted and executed have originated here. That will give him a subtle message that you are the one who initiated it. Humor makes things lighter.
You can choose all of the above and decide an order for yourself or you can choose one of the ideas.
The key is that you must address the issue. Once you have made up your mind, you will find a way to address it. Just be careful, don’t burn the bridges. He is atleast accepting the ideas and showing light to your work. Give him the credit, there are plenty of bosses who just reject ideas without valid reasons.
Keep generating ideas,