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ftp901's avatar

How do you deal with a credit-stealing boss?

Asked by ftp901 (1300points) March 19th, 2010

Ahhhhh…office politics cause me so much unnecessary stress.

My manager has a habit of exaggerating her involvement in projects that I’ve worked on. She doesn’t come right out and say that she did the entire project but she is definitely extending the truth and she knows it. Normally I let it go because I’m a behind-the-scenes kind of person and I don’t mind letting her take the limelight.

However, it has gotten out of hand this week. I’ve been working on a project in the past few weeks that has primarily been my work. She started the project but I volunteered to take it off her hands because she is overloaded – I stepped up, took initiative and have gone way above and beyond what was expected of me in this project. Her only involvement has been 2 meetings where I gave her an update on what I had been working on. She seemed to think I was doing a good job (she didn’t thank me, but she also didn’t have much criticism).

Today I overheard her telling her boss that “we” worked on it and that “we” sought out information and she minimized my contribution by saying that I “just did that part”. She passed off my ideas and opinions about the project (which I had just shared with her that morning) as her own (as in, “I think that we should…”).

I’m sure you’ve encountered this credit-stealing boss yourself, so how did you deal with it? By “deal with it”, I think I mean a way to let my manager know that I’m onto her (in hopes that she’ll stop) and let my manager’s boss know that I’m actually the one doing all the work.

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7 Answers

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

Are you working for your boss or for yourself? If I work for someone I work for them.

Fausnaught's avatar

Bosses steal credit. That is what they do. That is why you aren’t the boss but he or she is. That is like asking why the government collects taxes.

njnyjobs's avatar

It was noble of you to volunteer to help, but what was in it for you to do so? If I were you I would have minded my own business since I do not have any vested interest in the project and instead would work on my own project and responsibilities. . . . and as already stated, the boss is the boss.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Find another job, then report her credit stealing to the Department head or Top of the food chain in writing. In future jobs keep a log of your work and productivity to back you up better.

Haleth's avatar

Your boss can take your credit because you’re not being proactive. You took the initiative of doing the work, but if you communicate with people more and update them on your progress, you can take credit for the work before your boss does. E-mail can b very helpful here. If you use e-mail to communicate, you have written proof of everything. CC people on other teams or your upper managers when the information is relevant to them. Include other people in meetings besides just yourself and your boss when possible. Ask more questions and come up with more suggestions, to a greater variety of people, rather than just getting work done. It sounds wrong, but innovation and communication are very valuable, too. The point of all this is that you’ll be seen as a proactive, productive person and people will take more notice of you and your work. Your boss may still try to take credit, but she will be less successful.

partyparty's avatar

Stop volunteering to do the work she can’t (or won’t) deal with. Ask to start a project from beginning to end, then the credit goes totally to yourself.

ftp901's avatar

Well, the reason I volunteered to do the work was because I could see that the project was going off the rails and would have resulted in a poor quality piece of junk if nobody stepped in. I knew that I had some skills & knowledge that could help & with a little bit of work I could make a huge difference and improve the end result dramatically. Everyone else involved in the project was giving it half-assed attention and it needed more than that to do a good job. The other reason I volunteered is that I saw the opportunity to make it a highlight project on my record (ie. one that I could use later to launch into other jobs). So I seized it – I usually do not offer to do my boss’s work – it was just this time because there was a lot in it for me (looks good on resume & an opportunity to demonstrate my full capabilities to my boss & her boss).

@Haleth – thanks – that is the kind of strategy I’m thinking about – I was going to start dropping hints and casually mentioning my work on the project to more people in the office & at meetings so that they are all aware. It’s a fine balance though because I don’t want people to think I’m bragging or being petty (which I am and this time I deserve it!) You make a good point about involving more people in the meetings – I wish I could come up with an excuse to invite my boss’s boss to the meeting so that she could see what is really going on. I’m also going to mention it in emails when possible.

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