I am bemused. Why is it so many people think the fake out works? And if it does, that the results are a good thing.
Leaving aside my own issue (which is whole another thing [insert shameless plug for forthcoming book]), why is it that someone thinks they gain by faking someone out?
Here's a common scenario [with prejiduce]. Silly girl gets her first real promotion, now has some direct reports. SG is fairly capable, but by no means the world's best (at anything, really). Insecurity level is pretty high. Fears others may know this and wants to lock in position. So employs the fake out. The totally transparent, patently ridiculous fake out. Manages to fool some of the people some of the time. These are the people she then "trusts". Trusts on her team, trusts in their jobs, trusts with the work. In other words, the people she can fool are the people she trusts.
A meritocracy has not been created. Individuals are not rewarded for doing the job well. In fact, someone who does the job well is probably more likely to be singled out for "removal", if she or he is seen as a threat.
But what happens if some of the people SG has "trusted" are also just "playing the game"; doing their own fake out? Positioning themselves for their own power strike...
Not because, they are good or bad at the job, at this stage that may well be irrelevant, but because they can see, they have already witnessed, that the fake out works, so why not play the same game, if it gets them what they want?
All too silly, really. And it has so little to do with doing something well -- aside from trying to fake each other out, that is.