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The Egomaniac

This person is usually easy to spot, as the use of “I” or “My” is incessant: My people, my team, my idea, my stock price, my, my, my . . . me, me, me. Everything is about, or in service of, this person. This type of manager hoards credit, information, contacts, and ideas because he or she believes knowledge is power and it is not to be shared. These managers take credit for other people’s ideas and give little or no attribution for contributions from others. They respond to sycophants and surround themselves with adoring fans, creating a “clubby” atmosphere in which they can exclude others to feel important. They also build walls so that no one with a different idea can permeate their defenses.

One way to work for a narcissistic egomaniac is to try to accept the person for exactly what he or she is and hope that he or she will get promoted or moved up and out of your way soon. You might feel oppressed and stifled working for this type of person, or very bored with the self-adulation. Try to remember that the problems that ensue are probably not about you. It is very unsettling to make contributions that remain anonymous or are ignored because of someone else’s ego needs. This happens many times in any career and the most egregious cases might even cause you to seek employment elsewhere. If you feel hidden and used you might find, after a time, that you lose the motivation to continue providing game-changing suggestions to this type of manager. You might actually need to be creative and innovative, and you do not want to be hidden. These are difficult desires to have if you are working for someone whose foot is on your face. All does not have to be lost. There is a place between changing who you are and finding a new job.


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