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Who gets the credit?

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

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

I’ve spent six years as a second banana to Jack, a senior vice president of marketing at a large corporation. I work incredibly hard and drive much of our unit’s success. It’s not just me saying that—our CEO has hailed our marketing initiatives as visionary and attributed much of the company’s recent gains to our work.

Note how I say our work. It’s really my work. But Jack steals all the credit.

He refuses to acknowledge my ideas and limits my exposure to the top brass. Behind closed doors at senior management meetings, I hear he basks in the accolades from his peers—all because of my contributions.

It’s not like I just sit here and take it. I confronted him awhile back, in a nice way.

“I know a big part of my job is making you look good and that if you succeed, I succeed,” I told him. “It just seems that no one knows about me at this big company except you.”

He gave me some cockamamie story about loyalty. He said that Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, came up with the “thousand points of light” phrase. The president used it in a speech and struck gold with it. Noonan later told the press that she created the phrase, which angered Bush and his wife, Barbara.

“Listen, Noonan’s job was to make the president look good,” Jack lectured me. “When she went out of her way to tell people how great she was, it made her look power-hungry and ticked off the president.”

Well, I don’t buy that. I want to be widely recognized for a job well done. I’m just not sure how to make that happen.


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