Why Should You Never Outshine The Master?
Answer: The 1st law saves us from costly battles with people who have more power. These battles can stunt your growth, cutting you off from resources your superior controls. This can mean delayed promotions, bonuses, social benefits, less desirable tasks, and more. Would you want a subordinate who constantly fought against your lead?
One study tried to figure out what triggered anger in people who held powerful positions. They found that those who felt incompetent were more likely to display aggression. Meaning, subordinates who shine brighter than their bosses are more likely to get attacked because they are seen as threats.
Beware of superiors with higher levels of trait neuroticism, as they tend to experience feelings of envy and jealousy more frequently.
So what do you do if you’ve outshone the master? One study suggests complimenting your superior. They found that superiors were less likely to take aggressive action if complimented, even if they still felt insecure.
Better yet, be proactive and find ways to attribute your success to something your boss taught you long before you make them feel insecure.