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Sycophants- An analysis

Updated on November 4, 2010

How to succeed in business without even being anybody

Sycophants are a sort of anti-Boy Scout. They’re dishonest, disloyal and untrustworthy by definition. They’re also now a sort of plague in the fun-filled collections of excuses for psychoses known as management science. They live on the basis of selective groveling and acquiescence to anything that provides job mobility, income and status.

Sycophants are nobodies who are quite content to remain in the background, taking out their own lack of achievement in performance reviews, management committees and meetings where they can also pretend to have hormonal activity. They’re happily supported by their hosts, who believe what they say largely due to the vast amounts of flattery sycophants can produce. (This ability is believed to derive from special glands in the area where a face would normally be sited on humans.)

This wholesome species has now made an impact in the job market. The unemployed are now being taught to become actors, like sycophants, on the basis that it will make getting jobs easier. The lack of emphasis on skills in other areas is also consistent with a culture which is incapable of understanding the skills of employees in most cases. It’s been a great mix of innuendo and inference for the last 30 years.

A former chairman of Nabisco wrote in his memoirs that all that was required in America to be a success was great sycophantic skills. That was 20 years ago, and the result is that business management and psychotherapy are now closely related. A building burning down or an economy being trashed for a few generations is now the result of “attitude problems” which can be easily fixed by a weekend workshop and guidance from the VP or accountant in charge of mental obliteration.

The “team” mentality, in which people who loathe each other and have no respect for the skills of their colleagues, has been a fertile mating zone for sycophants. They can agree with each other for decades, while doing everything possible to avoid confrontation with facts, balance sheets, and audits.

Becoming a sycophant is easy. All you need is:

  • An IQ lower than plankton
  • A total lack of any need for self respect
  • An endearing belief in anything convenient
  • The ability to spot morons who hire sycophants
  • A reputation for being able to support anything from genocide to economic collapse
  • A genetic history of undiluted hypocrisy
  • The sensitivity of Styrofoam
  • The social instincts of a cockroach

From this inspiring basis, the sycophant can develop a self image based on being clever and a true can-do person. The fact that they need to be neither is of course irrelevant. The people who can recognize sycophants are usually too busy throwing up, and the managers who realize their mistakes are too busy trying to escape.

Sycophancy is a career move for those who lack talent, intellect and basic human instincts. It’s the new black, for those who were color blind in the first place.


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    • Paul Wallis profile image

      Paul Wallis 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      K9keystrokes- Yep, you can almost hear them setting up the workshops and networking already. I try to help...

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      Outstanding style! Finally, someone has the guts to put it to the page! I feel them scampering as you shed light on the subject!...

      My only concern is that somewhere someone is thinking this the perfect job description for the new job opening in Human resources.

    • Paul Wallis profile image

      Paul Wallis 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Yeah, and look what they're doing. Sycophants are the new Black Plague, just less aesthetically pleasing.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Well laid out and well written, thank you. I think they are growing in an alarming rate.

    • profile image

      Beaker 7 years ago

      Ha ha, interesting Hubs. I've always had zero tolerance for sycophants. I'd rather just be unsuccessful than adopt that kind of demeanor and personality, frankly.