I better set a good example here.  I take no credit for the word ‘suckritocracy’ but seriously, doesn’t it describe at least one place you’ve worked?

I heard it attributed to Edith Waltz, a sociologist who morphed into an IT director for Fortune 500 companies.  In her experience those companies were not meritocracies, they were not even aristocracies, and they certainly weren’t democracies – they were, pure and simple, suckritocracies.  And, apparently, in her experience, few people cared.

Call me Pollyanna, but I really meant it when I wrote The Gabriel Institute’s vision line – Making the Workplace a Better Place to Work.

So in that spirit, I ask you to join me in a revolution to banish suckritocracy from the workplace.  Here are the three ‘rules of engagement’:

  • First, believe that you can end suckritocracy in your lifetime.  All you have to do is to stop contributing to it.  Don’t take credit for other people’s work and, if you can, share the credit other people give you – whether you think you deserve it or not.  Being known as a team player is worth more to your career than being known for being smart.
  • Second, figure out what you really like to do and try to work with other people who will do the parts you don’t like.  If you get yelled at for that, you are working in a suckritocracy that has hardened into something like the corporate equivalent of the Zombies from Outer Space.  It eats fear and it can only survive by creating that fear in its young.  All you can do is starve it.
  • Finally, rock your own world.  Find the rest of your team.  They are out there.  (This is something like finding true love.)  Respect them,  Trust them.  Build something together (think Bill Gates, Mary Kay Ash, Ben & Jerry) and just say no to suckritocacy.
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