My Manager took my Idea.. Again!

This one’s a bit of a heavy pill to swallow.

My manager’s took my idea again over my finance career often.. like so many times my manager’s took my idea into meetings and presented them to higher management as their own ideas.

As I moved up the ranks and became CFO the CEO was one. Stole my idea and I would cringe every time it happened. I was frustrated, furious, flabbergasted.

I remember this one time.. Swearing in the middle of the meeting and saying “that’s not your idea, That was my idea”. I was furious that this kept happening over and over and over.

I had big realisation a couple of weekends ago about how our minds work and how this continuously kept happening to me.

We out jet skiing (My husband and I) and we got ran a ground a couple of times. We got to a spot where we sucked up the seaweed and the jet skis overheated. We were drifting. Drifting until we could fix up the jet skis. My husband, he’s pretty incredible and he took care of his own jet ski first and then he helped me with mine. We were there side by side and the water had changed by the time they were fixed so we couldn’t go back out the same way we came in as the tide had moved and there were now sand banks everywhere. I saw a boat go from not far away from us around through the channels and out the other side and I said to my husband “If we follow that boat, we should be able to get out because if a boat can go that way, then we are jet skis. We should be able to go that way.” And he replied to me , “No, that boat’s going to another boat ramp. We’re not going to that boat ramp, we’re going to the other boat ramp. We can’t follow that boat.”

We continued on our way.. we drove here, we drove there, we drove a bit round everywhere.

About 20 minutes to Half an hour later we stopped and started discussing how we were gonna go, what we were gonna do, we were a bit like Gilligan’s Island on our three hour adventure. My husband turned to me and he said ” I just watched this boat go round and get out over there.. there so if a boat can go round there and out, so can we.”

Now.. let me share with you a little bit about my husband. He’s a really detail logical person Very precise A perfectionist He likes to do things the right way We’ve been married 30 years this year and there’s no way..EVER that he would take my idea and present it at his own as his.

So the big realisation for me in that moment was how our brains work when we don’t have any awareness in our brain.

When it’s a new idea, it’s a new concept, it’s a new something in our brain.

We don’t have anything to attach it to.

If we talk about just adults and feelings that stack together.. like anger. When we have an angry moment, our brain goes, “oh, I know what that is. Let me put it with the other one” and when we have another one again “Oh, I know what that is. Let me put it with the other ones” and again “I know what that is. Let me put it with the other ones.” And then all of a sudden we have the straw that broke the camel’s back and we have these huge burst of anger. So it’s the same thing, except when the first event’s got nothing to attach to.

It’s not until the second event happens that we’ve got something to attach it to.

So me saying to my husband about following the boat was the first event in his brain. There’s nothing. There is no like filing cabinet to put it in.

My husband didn’t take my idea.

He had the idea.. and then when we talked about it later.. a few days later as I was ruminating and thinking about how the brain works.

I explained to him when I said it and on reflection he then recalled that I did infact say it first.. but when he said it to me he genuinely had no recollection at all that I had said that idea first

Oh my!

My managers all those years did not deliberately steal my ideas and present them as their own. They truly thought they were their ideas in the first instance. So of course the CEO was shocked when I swore at him “That’s my idea” and yes, on reflection.. he did recall that it was my idea.. but in the moment when he delivered it to that room of people, he truly thought that it was his own idea.

Has that happened to you?

Understanding how our minds work will help you in your career.

Having different people to bounce things off, to understand why we think this way, to make meaning or help us change the perspectives of the meanings that we make ‘things’ mean. . That is why people have a coach. So that they can come to them in this frustration and say “you know.., this is what I think” or “what if you look at it like this?”

Often a coach will be able to ask great questions to help you find a completely different perspective about what happened.

Mary Jensen
Mindset Master and Behaviour Specialist
M Power Services

About the Author

Mary Jensen has designed, led and built teams for over three decades with Award recognition locally and internationally.