To whom it may concern,

Sycophancy is defined as the art of using compliments to gain self- serving favor or advantages from another. In other terms, it is referred to as, brown nosing, sucking up or yes manning. This has been one of the modern trends also used by those in power to gather information concerning activities under their positions, likes and dislikes and thus, influencing decision making.

For instance, an employee of a certain company here in Nairobi lost his job because he failed to like and comment on his female employer’s Instagram photo! Meanwhile, his male colleagues who have been praising her social media photos received a free dinner.

In our governments, families, institutions and various work places, at some point, you must have noticed a kind of discriminative administration, allocation of resources, promotions and even divisions that emanate as a result of sycophancy. It comes about in two ways: One, Leaders select few individuals whom they believe will be of importance to reveal secrets that are reserved for their subjects only. In this case, a leader makes such a decision in fear that he/she may be brought down by his or her subjects and thus, quickly seeks the services of a sycophant who works in eavesdropping on comments, plans and activities in the work place.

Thus, if you ever get fired without any reason given…try to remember your contributions in conversations pertaining to office matters. That is why some have pointed an accusing finger at individuals who just sit and listen during heated office gossips.

Sigmund Freud, a great psychologist argues that the fear of the unknown dictates people to act in various ways in an effort to curb uncertainties. Fearful employers will turn ambitious and hungry employees into sycophants or if need be, employ fresh servicemen and women to tackle unyielding employees.

Secondly, sycophancy can come about as a result of some subjects presenting themselves as clean, informed, experienced and even able to help a leader find it easy running activities in the work place. These are the kind of people who infatuate love to their employers just to gain favors. They include those who want job promotions, though, not qualified, those who need favors like extra allowances and special treatment.

Sycophancy presents a number of problems: Most failures in various fields has been attributed to negative sycophancy. Most sycophants carry with them personal interests. They are quick to tell lies to their seniors about their immediate supervisors in order to be promoted. No wonder these group comprises mostly of junior staff who bite their fingers off in anticipation of overtaking their supervisors.

Divisions in the work place arise upon realization by other workers that some of their colleagues are spies and gossips who can’t wait to take their hard earned positions. Lack of cooperation will thus come up and see the fall of the company, school, government, etc. The art of sycophancy may not be easily done away with because it is one of the strategies leaders use. The problem arises when a leader selects an awkward sycophant. Everything will run awkwardly as a result.

Depending on the kind of personality preferred for sycophancy, the field of work will rise or fall.


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