"Kiss Down"


We have all heard and understand the term “kiss-up”. But everyone that has worked for a kiss-up manager, one that cannot wait to volunteer for a new responsibility or project has experienced the “kiss down” effect. The term refers to the extra work assigned to a team or department because of their boss's kissing up.

At Kmart’s corporate office kissing up was seen as a corporate culture that could easily lead to a promotion, particularly during the reign of Joseph Antonini. He was known in the halls of their International Headquarters Building as someone that did not like to hear bad reports. Antonini wanted and rewarded positive reports, even if those reports did not represent a clear of accurate picture. In one case a daily report by the planning department showed a continually declining customer count (Customer count is the number of register receipts printed in a day). The vice-president of the area was tired of presenting the report that was attacked by Antonini. The CEO was sure the customer count was being calculated incorrectly. The report was changed to eliminate the customer count data rather than actually looking at the reasons why it was occurring.

Having to recreate the report - and being able to enthusiastically present the less data-intense report – was “kiss down” work.

Kiss down work is actually a great way to help the kissing up boss look good. In doing so those impacted by the kiss down add more value to the entire organization or company. They increase their chances for a raise or bonus, increase job security, and become more well-rounded employees. The next time you feel you are a victim of kiss down get an attitude adjustment by looking at the positive side!