Brown-Noser or Contributor?

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“The danger in the leader-follower relationship is the assumption that the leader’s interpretation must dominate. If this assumption exists on the part of either the leader or the follower, creativity and problem-solving processes become stifled” — Patsi Krakoff

Any truly great leader or boss, if he is going to accomplish anything, knows that he needs to surround him or herself with people who are going to be honest and able to speak up if they see things differently than themselves.

At the workplace, it is normal that when you have just joined the team, you have everything to learn and it is time then to sit back and take it all in and learn how things are done.  But as time goes on, and you are given greater responsibility within the organization, it should become your responsibility along with everyone else to seek out ways that can help to improve productivity or service.

Too many people believe that in order to keep their job they need to become “yes-men” and just always agree with the boss.  In certain circumstances, like in emergencies, this could be what is needed, however on the long-term you will not be contributing in the way that is necessary in order to make the needed progress.

A boss who looks for people to “suck-up” to him is really insecure in his own leadership.  He feels the need to have someone affirm his position

Don't seek out this reward!

whether sincerely or not, as it tends to feed their pride. But it is better to inspire participation than it is to demand total submission.  A good leader seeks out help and knows that he, in himself, is not the “all-in-all”.  He builds a team around him, and after getting to know his team he then knows who he can pass the ball to trusting that it will not get fumbled.

The big problem with a “brown-noser” is that they are most likely to act as though they are with you whilst in your presence, but they are quick to criticize you when they are with others.  Most are entirely double-faced and can tend to cause more problems for the organization than good. The idea in the end is to build a good team so that it wins in the end, as in sports, if one team member thinks that he has to always carry the ball, the game will most likely be lost.

So if you want to keep your job, or make sure your business stays afloat, be a contributor, not just a wimpy bottom smoocher!  Your boss needs you more than he might lead on to make you think.  Naturally, keep in mind that you don’t know everything either, so don’t become over-confident or cocky either, as this also is of no help.  Be a team-player, be a contributor!

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Showing 9 comments
  • Sonia

    I have worked with these types before and they are no “bowl of cheerios” to be around either. You made allot of great points about why people need to focus on accomplishing tasks as a “team”. Brown-nosers are just backstabbers and should be watched like a hawk, but never focused on.

    People like that always end up “walking themselves out of a job” because of the mean tactics they think they need to do to get ahead. It might work for some, but you know that old saying, “What comes around goes around”.

    • Rusty

      Great point Sonia! Instead of movers and shakers they are the maneuvers and snakes!

  • Adrienne

    Back when I was in corporate America I knew a LOT of brown nosers. Yep, would stab you in the back as soon as you turned around. Suck ups big time.

    As for me? I’m the in your face kind of person. I tell it like it is and I don’t care who you are or how much money you make. You don’t automatically get respect because you’re the boss. Guess that’s why I did so well in my positions. My bosses respected me for speaking my mind. Wish more people were like that.

    Thanks for this post Rusty and love the look of your blog. Nice place you have here. I’ll be back to visit again soon.

    Enjoy your weekend.


    • Rusty

      Thank you for visiting Adrienne! I am happy that you enjoyed you visit and appreciate you comment.

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