Just a quick jaunt through my thoughts this morning:
Within the world of academic medicine and scientific research, I often find myself surrounded by individuals who have large egos. They think a lot of themselves, and sometimes not much of anyone else. And a lot of times, it could be argued, it’s justifiable. They’ve done great things, and they’re great at what they do. But just because you can have a big ego doesn’t mean you should.
So I wondered: do these people realize that most of their students and “underlings” only seek their approval to the extent that it serves their own personal interests? People don’t like the big-headed people because they’re fun to be around; they pretend to like them because they have power to influence their futures. This is the definition of kissing someone’s ass. And I wonder if those whose asses are frequently kissed realize that a large proportion of the sucking up isn’t because they are truly that good at what they do, but because they have the power to influence others’ futures. Seems to me like that could be an important concept to which someone in power should be fully aware: the concept of “yes-men”.