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My Boss Takes All the Credit, What Should I Do?

Dear Nancy,

How do I continue to grow my career when my boss is so focused on her own growth that she shares none of the limelight with the team? Our ideas are presented as her own, and the foundational work that delivers the strategic growth we see comes from myself and others on the team. How do we get some of the credit we deserve? Or is it time to simply move on?

Ticked-off in Taos

Dear Ticked Off in Taos,

That you’re “Ticked-off” enough to consider moving on, speaks volumes about your level of frustration and disappointment with your boss. Or could it be that you’re frustrated with yourself for not doing something about it and letting it get this far? Just putting it out there.

If you’re anything like me, when I was faced with this situation – and I know too few people who haven’t been- I would first rationalize my way out of it, try to rise above it and convincemyself, “It’s the idea that’s important, not whose it is. Just suck it up and let it go.” When that didn’t work, I’d vent my frustration to my colleagues who felt the same way, each of ussecretly hoping the situation would rectify itself. But it didn’t, so when the boss’s behavior ultimately began to affect my career and salary growth, I completely lost my sh*t and exploded in a meeting. Not my finest hour. In retrospect, here’s what I wish I had done sooner than later:

  • Spoken with my boss one-on-one in a nonconfrontational way.

  • Gone to HR to ask for advice on how to handle this situation, rather than couch it as a complaint.

  • Encourage the other members of the team to do the same.

It really feels crappy not to be acknowledged for the work you’ve done…and a good leader knows that.

But you can’t change your boss’s behavior, only how you deal with it. You may indeed be ready to move on, and if you are, I encourage you to do it in a way that makes you feel good about yourself.

When I read your email, I Googled the question “When your boss takes credit for your ideas…” and there is a wealth of information on how to handle this all too common situation. Here are some links to pieces in:

Taos is way too beautiful a place to be ticked-off in!!!


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