Most managers fears their ambitious peers. However, if the ambitious people are as talented as they think they are, they can be your most valuable allies. You can be part of their success and accompany them to the top, or you can emulate their good points and reach the top by your own.
The truly dangerous people in your company never clue you in their ambition, because their top priority is self-preservation. Thay exist in every organization. Mark McCormack identifies seven dangerous types:
1. The “I’ll do anything for you” pal
He makes the promise that you think you want to hear, but he cannot keep them. He says he can connect you with a potential client and while you spend the weekend assembling a presentation, he’s assembling an excuse for failing to connect. Everyone got burned once by this type, be careful for not getting burned twice.
2. The know-it-all
These are walking wikipedia who have seen everything at least once. Nothing is new to them. They consider themselves the company historians. They can appear very smart, but the only phrase missing from their vocabulary are “I need help”, “I was wrong” and “I don’t know”.
3. The “I agree” boss
His favourite phrases are “I agree” and “Let’s develop that”. He has an encouraging word for every proposal, but unfortunately he doesn’t go forward. His agreeability is indiscriminate and therefore meaningless. Acting with him means wasting time.
4. The confidant
When he tells you “I can keep a secret”, he can’t. He likes talking and his currency is gossip. For every piece of information he gets from you he feels obliged to share a secret about someone else. Ask yourself what he’s telling around about you, after meeting him.
5. The obsessive
He works long hours and he swoops in on every details, setting high standards. Unfortunately he is obsessive about details that don’t matter. He’s able to count paper clips even if isn’t going anywhere. He thrives in bureaucracies and never ask himself the real added value of his actions.
6. The strategic incompetent
He’s the one who can’t learn to use the video conference system and always ask for your help, and tend to apply this attitude to everything, even getting along with a client. He is always available for every “sure thing” and absent when it counts.
7. The articulate incompetent
His greatest talent is for getting hired, and his second greatest is working in the blind spots. When he gets found out, it’s too late. His presence is useless or, worst, dangerous. He has to be detected within his first three working months, otherwise he can transform himself into a strategic incompetent.
As some management experts estimate, 10 percent of people in a company are troublemakers and 70 percent are their unwitting victims. Only 20 percent are unaffected by these dangerous types and if you want to be included in it, you need to detect them. Part of the battle is identifying them, another part is avoiding them but the most important one is getting rid of them.
Adapted by “Success secrets” by Mark. H. McCormack, Collins