CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


By Shannon Jackson
Special to The Toronto Sun

Q:My manager is an idea-thief. Some of my co-workers and I have taken ideas to him at different times. He tells us why they won't work, and then implements them himself, taking all the credit. What do you do when the back-stabber is the person you report to?

A:Integrity and trust are critical elements in the management/employee relationship, and with those in jeopardy, respect is difficult to maintain.

Firstly, congratulations on having implementation-worthy ideas. Creativity, problem solving and initiative are valuable qualities in an employee. It is important that you don't stifle your ideas as a result of your manager's inappropriate behaviour.

I recommend communicating your ideas to your manager via e-mail. Request an e-mail reply with feedback. If your manager responds verbally, follow-up with an e-mail to him, confirming his feedback. This provides you with dated documentation of your presentation of the idea.
Send your job-related questions to Diane Janes at, or mail to Career Connections, The Toronto Sun, 333 King St. E., 4th Floor, Toronto, Ont., M5A 3X5

If your manager later implements the idea and takes credit, request a meeting with him. Present him with the printed e-mails.

Confirm that you are pleased to see your idea implemented, but that you feel you were not given appropriate credit for its origin.

Express that you are more motivated to contribute when you are recognized for your efforts.

Professionally, and without accusation, document the details of this conversation, and send it to him in another e-mail. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, request a meeting with your manager and his superior.

Be sure to bring all of the documentation with you. Good luck!

(Shannon Jackson is the national recruitment manager for Manpower Services Inc.

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