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Dr. Janice Presser, CEO, The Gabriel Institute

DrJ 2013 web

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 – where the people who suck are the ones who get ahead. 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 we can end suckritocracy in our lifetime. All we 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 that other people give you – whether you think they 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 wonderful together. (Think Steve & Woz. Hewlett & Packard. Ben &Jerry.)

And, please. Just say no to suckritocacy.

Dr. Janice Presser is CEO, a Principal of The Gabriel Institute, and architect of the underlying technology that powers Teamability®. She is a pioneer in Talent Science, and a recognized thought leader in qualitative assessment and human infrastructure management concepts. Her new book, slated for release in 2013, will explore the theoretical and physical foundations of 'teaming,' and their profound impact on the structure, development, and leadership of teams.