We all want to be the one to deliver the Hail Mary and secure the MVP title — but BlackBerry CEO John Chen says that being the superstar employee can backfire when it comes to career advancement.
“Most employees think that the best way to show value to their boss and get promoted is to aggressively claim credit and ownership over everything they do,” writes Chen in a recent LinkedIn post. “While it’s important to be recognised for what you do and the value you add, grabbing the glory is going to turn off your co-workers.”
It can also turn off your boss, he warns. “Trying too hard to show you’re a superstar tells me that you only care about what’s best for you, and not the company as a whole.”
In addition to coming across as self-centered, establishing yourself as an indispensable superstar can hinder your chances of getting ahead. “Being irreplaceable is a double-edged sword,” he explains. “It not only means you’re unfireable — you’re also unpromotable. From my vantage point, why would I allow one employee to be promoted to another job if it creates a huge void elsewhere?”
Rather than focusing on being the hotshot, “be as unselfish as possible,” he says.
Chen recommends mentoring and training others, so that they can do your job well. “This helps your coworkers, helps your company, and helps you.”
Tone down the superstar, practice being unselfish, and you’ll see the difference in your career.
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