Chapter 4: Who To Trust At Work Part 11
In the last post, I used Aesop’s fable The Fox and The Crow to define a Fox at work as someone who gets by on flattery. Now compare Aesop’s fox with the following true stories.
Story 1: “Jack,” a Director at a national telecommunications company, laments not recognizing that his colleague as a Fox.
“My colleague and I were in contention for a promotion. She went overboard to be my buddy and friend, to be helpful. At the same time she was damning me with faint praise all over the company. ‘Jack is really good at what he does. Jack is a really good leader, meets project deadlines but….’ That was her technique. It planted enough doubt about me that I wasn’t selected. One of my reports who was close to someone in this other woman’s department told me about how she did it, how long she did it, how many people she did it with. That was my experience with betrayal. I thought she was my buddy.”
Story 2: “Liz,” a Senior Manager in the software industry describes her friend “Susie” who got ahead at her expense. “She [Susie] would present my stuff and her stuff, but would never tell them I generated it. She was very sweet about it, saying things like ‘I didn’t mean it that way.’ But she did. She accelerated her career that way. She got a lot of visibility by indirectly taking credit for other people’s work. I don’t know how she made it work. She was very charming and managed her bosses well.”
Now that you have some idea how to recognize the spoor of the Fox, in the next post, I will offer strategies for how to deal with one. What is your experience with betrayal, and how have you tried to prevent it from happening again?