How to Progress Without Knowledge and Morals: The Art of Being a Fake Manager

To climb the corporate ladder, it is crucial to navigate and thrive in corporate politics. If you choose this path, I have several pieces of advice for a secure success. Formal education is not decisive, and neither are morals nor conscience. The primary goal is to protect your position for as long as possible, so the use of all means is allowed. Focus more on how you say something than on what you say. Keep your creativity to yourself; don’t flaunt it too much, as others will see it as competition, and you don’t want that, as it allows the ego to control reactions.

False Knowledge

The most important thing is to leave a good and memorable impression through appearance and presentation, as everything is mostly based on skillful representation of superficial knowledge. This knowledge can be vast, but it won’t be crucial for success and advancement. You need to be eloquent and comfortable speaking in front of an audience. Be confident, even if you don’t have realistic grounds for such an attitude. If you want to succeed, be proactive and get intensely involved in all essential activities. This will create the impression of a valuable, versatile person sacrificing for the company’s benefit, making you slowly but surely irreplaceable. A known fact is that almost everyone is replaceable in the corporate world. If you don’t know something but want to appear knowledgeable, volunteer to speak and repeat (in a slightly different version) what someone just explained. This diverts attention from yourself and gives the impression that you know what you’re talking about, even if you don’t know very well or at all. Include people in projects who know and want to work, while you comment and promote it to superiors. Essentially, you become the PR coordinator of the project.

Information is Power

If you lack knowledge and skills to say or do something intelligent, gather information that you can use against someone. The more information about people you possess, the better position you’re in. Constantly analyze the flaws and mistakes of others. Those who work also make mistakes; only those who haven’t worked haven’t made any mistakes. Nevertheless, point the finger at those who make mistakes; you’ll appear smarter and superior. Bad people don’t want to create and genuinely contribute; their biggest ambition is to harm someone just because. Essentially, you become the Hunter of Mistakes.

Gossip or Informal Corporate Culture

By definition, gossiping is very uncultured and shows a lack of good manners. Ideally, it shouldn’t be part of the business world; however, practice shows the opposite. Even large and serious corporations are not immune to such things. People are naturally curious, and “forbidden fruit is the sweetest,” so digging into someone else’s privacy is always a challenge for those with less brain and more free time. Corporate culture that doesn’t penalize (and thus indirectly supports) bad and uncultured behavior of employees is not on the right path. Anyone who has time for informal stories and gossip at work either doesn’t have enough work or isn’t trying (or doesn’t know how) to do it properly. Surprisingly, many managers enjoy listening to gossip, relish in it, and use it for various purposes: for blackmail, extortion, insult, etc. Open your eyes wide and sharpen your ears; all information is welcome, and you’ll figure out what to do with it. Essentially, you become the Informer and Interpreter.

Always Act Overworked

Let your most common phrases carry the meaning: “This company can’t do anything without me,” “I have to do everything.” Attend all meetings, be involved in all activities, but always delegate tasks to others (because you’re overloaded and overwhelmed). Enter others’ offices with urgent demands and talk about how busy you are while others do nothing. Quantity vs. quality. Does the result really matter? Essentially, you become the Fake Busy Bee.

Socialize with Colleagues

Regularly attend coffee breaks (where you can gather or spread stories), organize post-work gatherings to create your “crew” and showcase team spirit. Of course, posting photos on social media confirming all this is a must. Contacts and networking are crucial, and the entire business is based on relationships between buyers and sellers. Ideally, have a network of colleagues in important positions with whom you maintain contacts and friendly relations, so you can stay informed about everything and react on time. However, the motivation and level of sincerity are essential. Essentially, you become the Ally and Entertainer.

Motivational Speeches

To be liked in society, present yourself as someone who is not vain and who, through compliments and kind words, can motivate colleagues. These are false compliments, characteristic of people who cheer each other on and help for certain interests, even when they don’t have a good opinion of each other. You’ve probably heard the expression “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” The expectation is that praise will be reciprocated. Although this communication style verges on the grotesque and banal, it is widespread among people, especially in the business world. Essentially, you become the Motivator.

Attack Strategy

During meetings, attack colleagues for poor or insufficient results. Double standards are always a good choice. Attack others, regardless of whether they deserve it or not, and praise yourself for everything you’ve done for the company’s benefit and success, even if you haven’t done half of it or anything at all. Always be well-prepared for every meeting and think about why and how you can criticize someone. Essentially, you are just a Warrior for the company (nothing personal).

Mentoring Work

Since you have a lot of experience in manipulating people, you can conduct internal training, so-called coaching for individuals who are sincere and not skillful in corporate games. Converting sincere and good people becomes your mission—the company will thank you for that. The point is to learn to hide emotions, words, deeds, all with the aim of supporting ruling currents. The prerequisite for this is to have a mindset with a flexible moral code. Essentially, you become the Advisor.

Working Hours – They Don’t Exist

In my opinion, there are three real reasons for overtime work: 1) you don’t know how to do your job and are inefficient, so you need more time to complete tasks; 2) you are falsely loyal: during working hours, you enjoy non-business activities, and in the evening, outside working hours, you respond to emails (so-called flexible working hours); 3) you are unhappy and lonely, have no company outside of work, so you socialize with colleagues. Demonstrating loyalty to the company through overtime work is highly appreciated (until you stop doing it). This shows that you live for the company. I can understand this only if the company is yours. However, you are smart enough to realize in time that overtime work won’t bring you anything, but superiors will view you differently if you practice it, so you’ll skillfully simulate overtime work. You’ll frequently stay beyond working hours, although you won’t do anything concrete or useful; you’ll talk about how you worked late the previous night, even if you didn’t think about work; you’ll load all the work onto your team members—let them work outside working hours; it will look like you’re doing the same. Essentially, you become the Fake Workaholic.

War Against Those Better Than You

When there’s someone in the team who is more knowledgeable, smarter, more capable than you, resort to low blows. The method of “divide and conquer” has proven extremely successful in “destroying” better individuals. Just throw a bone of discord into a good team and determine who should quarrel with whom. This is a very common management model when you are inferior in qualifications but not in cunning. Essentially, you become Machiavelli.

Advantages of Being a Woman

It’s easiest to influence a man you appeal to because he’s willing to do anything for you, protect you, or present himself to others as an alpha male. Of course, you will exploit this. Managing male managers in three steps: 1) dress attractively (it always lowers guards in men), 2) praise him a little and let him talk about himself and his achievements (egocentrics love this), 3) then casually ask for what you need. Very simple, yet effective. Essentially, you become the Seductress.

Always Loyal and Conciliatory

You can influence someone who doesn’t like you by being a loyal team player, even if you’re not doing anything useful or essential. Favorable towards the source of power, you try to be good with everyone, share candies, always in a good mood, buzzing around the company, collecting important information. Always available to members of the influential clique, you have no opinion or stance of your own; you nod affirmatively to everything and never confront anyone. Essentially, you become the Sycophant.

Somewhere in Between

People should be kept in suspense to have control over them. If they don’t know what you really think and what your next move is, they will constantly think about it and try to “read” you. Then comes the “hot-cold” game, where you motivate them a little, promise them something, and then ignore, insult, or punish them. Practice has proven this to be very effective. Essentially, you become the Unfathomable.

Politics and Empty Words

There is a specific language peculiar to each company, and you should learn it. It left an impression on me when a manager, having just come from another company, stated, “I’m learning the language of this company,” preparing to fit into the system through talk, not work and results. Just as there is a matrix of words that can be combined, used by bad politicians in responses and statements to the media, here you can talk without saying anything, leaving the impression that you know a lot. Essentially, you become the Multilingual Politician.

Sometimes you need to accept your job as a game, so be sure to learn its rules well.

Author: Dobra Odlučić