What Happens When Bosses Heap Praise Only on Their ‘Stars’?

A ‘culture of geniuses’ destroys collaboration and undermines the contributions of those considered not the geniuses. What’s a boss, or teacher, to do about it?

A young man looks unhappy as he sits at his desk in an office and looks at her computer.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Matt” emailed this question: “Do you know something I can read that would help me deal with an issue several of my employees have raised? They tell me that I am favoring the stars in our company — similar to teacher’s pets — instead of encouraging everyone to shine.”

In fact, I do have a recommendation. I’ve just read an advance copy of Cultures of Growth: How the New Science of Mindset Can Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations by Indiana University psychology professor Mary C. Murphy, who I had the pleasure of interviewing recently. Her book comes out on March 12, 2024.

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H. Dennis Beaver, Esq.
Attorney at Law, Author of "You and the Law"

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California's Kern County District Attorney's Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "You and the Law." Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. "I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift."