I started my business career with the naïve assumption that if I worked hard, kept my head down and contributed well as a team player, I would get noticed and promoted by upper management.
You can imagine my shock when I realised that some of my peers (I’m calling them rat bastards) sought advancement via self-promotion, empire building, bandwagon jumping and good old fashioned back-stabbing. I also didn’t anticipate how many people acted like this or how effective they would be.
It was not until I became CEO that I had tactics to handle them. The following is quick review of the types of people you will encounter and how to handle them without sacrificing your integrity.
The Barum Rat Bastard
Who he is: He is adept at amplifying his or her successes, contributions and achievements, no matter how big or small his achievements. He does not discern which achievements he should promote; He communicates them all…and very loudly.
How to deal with him: Re-amplify his message as much as possible; send his boastful emails to others and spread his message widely. Eventually, his credibility will suffer as people demand more of him.
The Empire Building Rat Bastard
Who he is: He likes to grab territory including headcount, budget, and office space. His only motive is to build the kingdom, and he equates more resources with more value and importance.
How to deal with him: To slow him down in the long term, you need to be “helpful” in the short term. Consolidate all your marginal performers (troublemakers and general pains-in-the-neck) and group them into a single team. Give the team a task that would be helpful to the empire building rat bastard and wait for him to take them under his dominion. It will make your management job easier and give the bastard what he asked for.
The Bandwagon Jumping Rat Bastard
Who he is: This is your colleague who will align himself with any obvious winner. Using revisionist history and creative story line gerrymandering, he can trace his role and contributing to every organisation success.
How to deal with him: Your mission is to tout the likelihood of successful outcomes for every initiative you ar aware of. Occupy his time by recommending initiatives and projects and watch as he abandons the real successes of the company.
The Back Stabbing Rat Bastard
Who he is: Backstabbers are the hardest bastards to spot. Some will be your “friend” while others might operate in the shadows. All of them will make comments and accusations that torpedo your credibility and success.
How to deal with him: The only method for dealing with these R.B.s is to spot them before they have the chance to back stab. Once he is identified you can call him out in a number of ways: If you hear anything suspect you can question its validity. The most important method is to strike back and make sure they know that you are watching them closely.
Don Rainey is an early stage, information technology, venture capitalist in the Washington DC area. His blog is “VC in DC.”
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.