Some readers might not remember the driven and opportunistic protagonist of Budd Schulberg’s 1941 novel “What Makes Sammy Run?” but most have encountered Sammy. He is the colleague who intentionally over-promises and under-delivers in the hope that you’ll be embarrassed. He shamelessly lies and then lies again in denying his lies. He takes undue credit, avoids all well-earned blame, and dismisses any critics as naïve losers. He is, in short, a shark.
One of the most important job skills is being able to spot Sammy. The Glicks of the world can be quite charming and they are always sly. They are capable of doing good work and even good deeds. Fortunately, they usually leave an array of witnesses whose stories of transgressions leave no doubt as to the perpetrator.
Some of the best strategies for dealing with Sammy are:
Michael Wade writes Execupundit.com, an eclectic combination of management advice, observations, and links. A partner with the Phoenix firm of Sanders Wade Rodarte Consulting Inc., he has advised private and public-sector organizations for more than 30 years.