Monday, February 11, 2008

The only thing worse than being ignored...

Is having your ideas used and not being given credit.

Credit is important in the knowledge economy. Personal credibility is how you get and retain employment. Without credibility, don't expect to move up the chain.

One of the sales people I work with came up with a cool idea, it would instantly double or triple the number of customers for the company. So, he did what he thought was the smart thing. When the CEO took them out for dinner, he told him about it. He sent an email around the marketing team. He had design discussions looking for angles on his own time with interested members of the engineering team.

The marketing team went quiet. There was no indication that the company would proceed with the idea. Definitely nothing along the lines of a "thank you". Of course, based on my experience, that's to be expected.

Imagine his surprise when I went up to him this morning and said, "Congratulations on that thing! I see from the press release that you got some traction! Great!"

The hurt was visible. At first he was angry, "That jerk stole my idea", then he was incredibly hurt.

I can tell you for sure, he's another person who has had his creativity killed. Do you really think that after this experience he's going to bring his A-game to work? I've never seen the fire go out of someone before. It's a sad thing to see.

He's an insanely motivated and energetic guy. If I worked somewhere else, I would be inviting him out to lunch right now.

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