Do you have any imposters in your company?
These imposters are people that get to a “high” level within their company. They have titles like manager, director, or VP and they think that the self proclaimed power they hold within the walls of their company somehow extends beyond its own doors. You can recognize these imposters because they will often:
Give their opinion when nobody asked for it.
Talk down to people who have a lower title than them.
Blame others when they make a mistake.
Talk rudely to or about inferiors, vendors, contractors, and service providers.
Think their title validates and justifies what they say and how they behave, both inside and outside of the office.
Feel that their title validates their opinions and actions.
These types of people slowly destroy company culture. Some people simply call them bullies or arrogant jerks but it’s more than that. If you come across these people, don’t get angry.
Early in my career, I learned that their behavior is just a manifestation of their insecurities about not feeling qualified for their role and/or having no real power or authority in their real life. They project that desire to feel powerful and authoritative into their behavior.
I’ve come across this type of person a lot in the Silicon Valley. As someone who spent 10 years working my way up from the bottom, I see people’s true character and I have zero tolerance for this type of person. I am always humble and treat everyone as an equal, no matter what their title is.
Don’t worry if you have been put down, bullied, or criticized by these people. Don’t take it personally. They act this way because they are insecure. The upside is that they won’t last long outside of their current company. The tech industry is wizening up and becoming less and less likely to tolerate these people.
Hopefully maybe one day they will realize that humility is more valuable than their self proclaimed value to the world.
Take a look around, do you have any imposters hiding inside of your company? Or maybe you were even an imposter at one time or another and hadn’t even realized it? It’s never too late to make the change into becoming humble. Humility goes a long way. It will not only make you a better leader but also a better person.