You have finally found the right place and the right position in a new company! Yay! Your first few weeks were pretty good; you were left on your own because your Direct Report was out of town, a lot!

After your first big meeting with your DR, you came away feeling empowered and confident that he had confidence in you doing what you were hired to do. You designed a project plan, presented it to him via email (yes, he was out of town again!) and both of you were satisfied.

Then, along comes Harry. Harry was a new hire and not at all involved in your area of influence. Then slow and steady, Harry decided to co-opt or should I say steal your ideas. Blatantly steal so that everyone on your team, except your Direct Report, was aware of this happening and wanted to know what YOU were going too about it.

You have choices. You could report him to your DR, but what are you going to say? That Harry stole your ideas and couldn’t do anything with them because he was out of his depth?

Not a good call.

You could get angry; however, this would only give you a headache and make Harry quite happy. Anger feeds Harry.

It is not the time to go into j’accuse! mode as this action will not benefit you either.

And you do not want to get into HR issues right off the bat. You have an inkling this is not the first time Harry has stolen ideas and presented them as his own; Harry already has his responses ready. Harry knows what he is doing.

Make sure your boundaries are in place at all times. If Harry takes credit for your ideas in a meeting with others present, you can say, ‘That’s exactly the idea I presented yesterday. Let’s revisit those plans’. Create resolutions first.

Promote yourself the healthy way. Own your ideas, plans and processes. When your DR congratulates the room or you about this plan, say something like “Thanks, I’m glad you like my work. I spent many hours putting it together.’

Share other great ideas with your team. Keep track of these conversations in your emails. Invite the team to contribute further thoughts and ideas. The team will always remember that you brought this aspect of the project to them.

Having someone steal credit for your ideas is not uncommon in this fast-paced world. Situations such as these will enable you to handle these occurrences with grace and learn how to be a better leader and use your skills of self-promotion to work in your favor.

The Be Your Authentic Self Program is here for you now.


Joanne Victoria