Why do boneheads get bonuses?


Being seen means you’re keen:

Nikita was seething between slurps of her Americano.

“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 Nikita. “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 Nikita’s boyfriend, Yann, 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 Nikita, as his ‘own project’.


Protecting your achievements:

Since our conversation, Nikita has created coding for a huge client with Guy regularly hovering over her.  He wanted to run to Senior Management before she did, thereby snatching credit from Nikita.

Nikita told she wasn’t sure the coding worked and there were a few bugs, so she could protect her intellectual copyright.  Time passed and Nikita suddenly announced the successful completion of the project to all.

What made her look more like ‘leadership material’ was not only the fact that she informed senior management of a completed milestone, but that she also named and thanked her team for helping her, copying them into the email.

As a result of his increased visibility, Nikita has been rewarded with a handsome pay rise.


Getting the word out without sounding like some inflated, egotistic ass:

Some of us squirm at the idea of letting others know of your achievements.

There’s so much news and information coming at us from all sides that your accomplishments, as significant as they are to you, are lost in the noise.

PEOPLE DESERVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU BRING TO OTHERS, YOUR COMPANY AND YOUR WORLD.  For more ways to make yourself look good, both within and outside your organisation, go here.

It’s a disservice to others not to let them know.   To step into your potential others need to know what you offer.   BRING IT OUT.

As the wonderful Scottish singer, Siobahn Miller, sings:  “It’s not how big your share is but how much you chose to share.”


Your Action:

  1. Write down one achievement from the past 3-6 months.
  2. Write down at least one other person who was involved.
  3. If possible, provide a visual: take a picture of yourself with them or a product photo, for example.  A testimonial from internal or external client is as effective.
  4. Use a social channel / intranet / to thank them for their help.  Remember to tag your company / colleague(s)  to get the word around.  If you use email, remember to cc. in management and team leaders: they need to know what you offer.




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