The path to corporate success is paved with hard work and dedication. But how can you blaze up that path without having to pave that road? Here are 6 amazing ways to take credit for someone else’s work.
1. Ask them how they plan on solving problem “X” right before the meeting, then say their plan before they can speak
Right before the meeting, put your hand on their shoulder and say “Buddy, I do not know how we’re going to get out of this one.” Sound a bit panicked, and egg them on a bit more for a solution if they don’t give you one. If you want to live dangerously, pound the table and say “I got it!” a half a second before they’re about to solve the problem at the meeting.
2. Go for a nice stroll by their desk when they’re away
Exercise is a great way to improve productivity, especially when your exercise is walking in front of a smart person’s desk. Do a quick once-over of their desk or computer screen, and if bystanders are suspicious, just say you’re looking for some staples. Staples are the most inconspicuous office supplies to look for.
3. Repeat a solution someone just said, but add a minuscule detail change
If they don’t give you all the credit, at least you’ll get recognition for “fixing” an unbroken idea. Ideally, the situation would go a little like this:
Manager: And that’s why we need to cut down expenses 12% by the end of the quarter. Any ideas?
Smart coworker: I think our only option is staff layoffs and replacing them with cheaper solutions. I do not see how we can continue doing business when we are so overstaffed. It’s either lose a few fingers, or cut off the whole hand.
You: Layoffs? Have a heart, have a soul! There has to be another way…maybe task automation? We find ways to automate certain tasks, and ask some staff to supervise in case of a malfunction. Sure, some staff will have to find… other employment opportunities (maybe most of them) but we’ll survive. The hand stays attached, and a few of the fingers get smaller.
Manager: You’ve done it again! Someone can expect a nice bonus this year.
4. Brainstorm with a group, viciously object to the best idea another person says, then say that same idea to management if your own ideas aren’t connecting
The only thing better than taking someone’s great idea is make the person who thought of it think it’s a horrible one.
5. Ask for “feedback” from your team regarding any new initiatives, take that advice, then fire them
They say one of the secrets to success is to surround yourself with smart people. The other part of that is taking their valuable input, then getting rid of the evidence.
6. If there’s a big project, volunteer to co-chair with someone, and avoid all of the work so they have to do it
Your partner may know you’re an irresponsible scumbag, but the world will only see a successful project with your name under it.
And there you have it. Someone’s thinking of a great idea right now, so get out and get ready to pounce. Note: After stealing someone’s idea, proper ways to celebrate include: pelvic thrusts towards their direction and posting pictures of your bonus check on their Facebook wall.
If you enjoyed this piece, follow Warren Urquhart on Medium.