Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hey Fletch … my boss stole my idea and said it was his. What gives?

DRF—That’s a hard one to hear. I’m so sorry that you had this experience. Can you go back to your boss and get some clarification? Can you explain to him that the idea was yours? Can you share your disappointment and angst?

Some ideas are born out of collaborative efforts. When things are products of a work group, they should be shared as “the team created …” When an individual comes up with an idea, it should be shared as “this team member had a terrific concept and I want to put it forward.” 

Some leaders do what you have experienced—they present the work of others as their own. They may feel that as the “boss” they have the right to this. Good ethics dictate this not to be the case. By not giving proper credit, your boss stole from you. The best practice is to share the fantastic ideas of staff members and give proper acknowledgement.

I have never heard of a person being fired simply because they hired smart people. The better that a person hires and promotes the work of others, the more good credit comes to the entire team. If your boss would have said, “this person created this,” the others in the room would have thought, “that boss has a great team and must be doing something right to get such great ideas.”