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Grabbing my share

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

Stan, a marketing manager in New York, talks about his credit-hogging boss.

My boss, Jack, hasn’t been too bad lately. He still claims credit for all my work, but at least he’s starting to act a little guilty about it.

He took me to lunch last week and told me how much he valued my work. At one point, he said, “Ross [our CEO] is delighted with what I’ve done,” but then he quickly corrected himself by saying, “Ross is delighted with what you’ve done.”

My sense is he feels guilty for stealing my thunder for so long because he finally hooked me up with the top brass. He invited me to his house for a barbecue and I was the only midlevel manager there. Everyone else was an EVP.

The fact that I’ve been giving him a hard time about my relative obscurity in this company—due largely to his unwillingness to recognize my work—has worked well, I think. I’ve never made a big deal about it. It’s always more of a gentle ribbing when I joke with him about all the promotions he’ll get because of me.

I’ve been petulant in private—with my friends and co-workers. We all think Jack is an insecure egomaniac. But my hunch is confronting him too aggressively will backfire.

I also see it as a victory that he no longer pretends that what he has done is kosher. He has started confessing to me that he’s worried about his job security. The rough economy is hurting our bottom line, and some of our competitors are considering layoffs.

While he hasn’t come right out and apologized, he is showing some self-awareness. That’s worth something, I suppose.


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