Being seen means you’re keen
Andy was seething between slurps of his Americano (formerly known as plain old ‘black coffee’). “There’s this guy at work and he got a massive pay rise this year and now he’s managed to hop over to another company and he’s on £95k a year. He’s not heading a department or anything. He’s got a team of two and he’s coding and stuff.”
“He must be damn good then.” I suggested.
“No. He’s a bloody idiot, actually”
“So how come he’s doing so well, financially speaking, anyway?”
“One thing,” said Andy. “Visibility.”
Visibility is the key. Every time this guy – let’s call him – Guy (yep, my imagination is on freefall today) – achieved a milestone, set something up, resolved a problem he’d send an email out to managers.
Snatching credit vs. giving credit
Sitting with me was Andy’s girlfriend, Yolanta who voiced something that many of you may share:
“Doesn’t that make you an utter tosser, announcing every single thing you’re done. I mean, that’s like the whole Facebook thing: ‘look at me in a restaurant/on a beach.’ It’s so smug.”
I’d say there’s a thin line between having high visibility and being a total cretin and Guy crossed it regularly, appropriating a Wiki initiative that was set up by Andy as his ‘own project’.
Protecting your achievements
Since our conversation, Andy has created coding for a huge client with Guy regularly hovering over him wanting to know when it was ready so he could let management know about it (for which he’d take the credit, not Andy).
Andy lied, telling Guy he wasn’t sure the coding worked and there were a few bugs, thereby protecting his intellectual copyright. Time passed and Andy suddenly announced the successful completion of the project to all.
What made Andy look more like ‘leadership material’ was not only the fact that he informed senior management of a completed milestone, but that he also named and thanked his team for helping him, copying them into the email.
As a result of his increased visibility, Andy has been rewarded with a handsome pay rise.
As for Guy the thieving Magpie, snatching triumph from below the noses of others, we’re sure that his high paying role is nothing but danger money for he has flown unknowingly into a highly adversarial atmosphere: no ping pong in the canteen there but a magpie fest of feather pulling where Guy comes off looking rather forlorn and burned out.
There now, that’s better: a little schadenfreude to help the coffee go down.