What Do You Do When Your Boss Steals Your Ideas?

When coworkers steal your ideas, that's one thing. It's a more difficult situation when your boss takes credit for your ideas. Business magazine Fortune suggests a couple of ways to handle this tricky circumstance.

Photo by Idaho National Laboratory.

One approach for handling colleagues who steal your ideas is to save your best ideas until you can mention them in a meeting or in a group email. Your contribution will be noted and no one else would be able to claim credit for it.

However, Fortune also suggests that if it's your boss who's claiming credit for your ideas, you should just say "thank you" and let it go, because your boss isn't in direct competition with you, as your co-workers might be.

What do you think? Have you had to handle a boss or coworker stealing your ideas?

Does it matter if your boss steals your ideas? [Fortune]


    I used to work in a three person team where I had the ideas, my co-worker had the ability to filter and implement them, and my boss had the drive to change things so they worked.

    My satisfaction was to see my ideas work, as I never really got credit for my individual contribution. Still that was my most satisfying work experience ever because the team DID work. Every other workplace has been marred by internal competition or stalled by incompetents at all levels.

    Sharing 3/4 of an idea initially sometimes works. If there are some creative ways of enhancing a solution (and you have the opportunity to share these in a group setting) then providing your boss with most of the idea upfront means you can both win. He or she can share the nub of the solution, and you can then share the "I just thought of this" value-add. Then you are helping the overall goal as well as letting some of your own light shine.

    My old boss used to do this to me all the time. I used to come up with the ideas and implement them while he just glad-handed the customers.

    That is, he used to do it, until he got busted looking at porn at work because some good Samaritan ran a report of his browsing history from the company web proxy logs and sent it to the company CEO.

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