BlackBerry Ltd CEO Says Avoid Being “Superstar” Employee

Updated on

Keeping a lower profile at work is often a good idea says BlackBerry’s Chen

Being a “superstar” employee is not all it’s racked up to be, at least according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen. In a recent LinkedIn post, Chen highlights the importance of being a good team player and not trying to hog the credit, especially in the early and mid-stages of your career. He also points out that being perceived as a superstar employee can actually have a negative impact on your relationship with your boss and your fellow employees, and be an impediment to career advancement.

BlackBerry’s Chen says superstars can come across as self-centered

“Most employees think that the best way to show value to their boss and get promoted is to aggressively claim credit and ownership over everything they do,” Chen commented in his LinkedIn post. “While it’s important to be recognized for what you do and the value you add, grabbing the glory is going to turn off your co-workers.”

He also notes that bosses often perceive superstar employees as self-centered. “Trying too hard to show you’re a superstar tells me that you only care about what’s best for you, and not the company as a whole.”

Can reduce your chances for promotion

Making yourself out to be an indispensable superstar can hurt your chance at a promotion and hold back your career. “Being irreplaceable is a double-edged sword,” Chen explains. “It not only means you’re unfireable — you’re also unpromotable. From my vantage point, why would I allow one employee to be promoted to another job if it creates a huge void elsewhere?”

Chen suggests that instead of than focusing on being indispensable, you should try to “be as unselfish as possible.”

He also suggests mentoring and training other employees, both so that they can do their jobs better and so that they can do your job. “This helps your coworkers, helps your company, and helps you,” Chen notes.

Leave a Comment