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HBR Guide to Office Politics (HBR Guide Series) by Karen Dillon

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Chapter 4

The Boss’s Pet

The Problem

Your boss has a pet employee who gets the most interesting assignments and special perks, such as flextime and an expense account. She invites her pet to social events, confides inappropriately to him about “problem” colleagues, and acts like they’re old friends. And she doesn’t seem to hold him to the same standards that apply to the rest of your team: You all log in extra hours and go above and beyond, while he appears to just coast along. It drives you crazy.

Why It Happens

Sometimes favoritism is actually fair: The pet has a burning talent and desire to excel, works hard without complaining, and shares the boss’s goals and vision. Understandably, the boss is high on her star performer.

But what if she ...

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