How To Deal With A HiPPO At Work

Aoibhinn Mc Bride describes the HiPPO, and shares tips on how to deal with one.

No, we’re not talking about dealing with a real life hippo that’s somehow managed to escape from a zoo or wildlife sanctuary, and has taken up residency in your workplace.

HiPPO is an acronym for “highest paid person’s opinion” and it refers to the kind of manager or leader who often tramples all over other people’s ideas, projects or plans, simply because they have the most authority and think they know better, even if the evidence or data suggests otherwise.

Coined by author Avinash Kaushik, relying on the HiPPO also serves to undermine more junior or younger employees, and can be hugely demotivating as it plays into authority bias. This is where employees have to do whatever a more senior member of staff tells them to do, even if this isn’t the right thing to do––or won’t deliver the best results.

Deal with a HiPPO

So, how can you deal with a HiPPO and ensure your voice is being heard and valued? For starters, collect data, create reports and keep a record of your achievements, for example targets you’ve exceeded or positive customer feedback you’ve received.

This will allow you to illustrate the progress you’ve made along with valuable insights, and you can then use this information to bolster your own voice when it comes to meetings, your annual review or during group projects or activities that rely on teamwork to get the job done.

Next, try and prevent disengagement or burnout by creating opportunities for yourself. According to recent data released by Gallup, 71% of Australian employees are disengaged compared to a global average of 67%.

If you love face-to-face time with clients or enjoy the customer service aspect of your role, ask your manager if you can do more of this. Or if you find yourself dreading meetings, ask your manager if you can present a topic you’re passionate about and have been researching. A good manager will welcome this kind of proactive attitude and an engaged employee.

That being said, sometimes there’s no escaping the negative impact of a HiPPO in the workplace and the only thing to do is move on to pastures new. If that is the case, the Professional Beauty Job Board is a great place to start your search as it is filled with hundreds of open roles in companies that are actively hiring across the country, like the three below.

Events Executive, Sephora, Sydney

As Sephora’s Events Executive, you will be responsible for leading the eventing strategy and execution, with particular focus on retail and loyalty events. You will form part of the marketing team and play an integral role in supporting retail initiatives, digital campaigns and brand/product launches through eventing and marketing support. Day-to-day your responsibilities will include compiling pre-and-post-event marketing reports, updating the internal marketing calendar with information and dates for brand launches, product newness, campaigns, events and animations and sharing relevant information with team members as required. You’ll also work with the PR and events manager and PR executive to create campaigns to promote both new and existing Sephora retail stores via local media, radio, TV, influencers and VIP events. View more details here.

Store Manager | Aesop Canberra, AESOP Corporate, Canberra

Aesop is currently seeking a Store Manager for its Canberra store. In this role you’ll be responsible for budgeting, store-specific marketing, and building the client base, as well as choreographing the daily activities of a team of retail consultants. You will also be tasked with motivating, coaching and, in turn, the performance and development of your staff. This role requires the right candidate to create a unique Aesop experience with core customers along with creating key relationships with stakeholders and neighbourhood businesses. To apply you’ll need to have an interest in retail management and applicants with previous management experience will be highly regarded. See the full job description here.

Clinic Development Manager, Artisan Aesthetic Clinics, Geelong

Pamper Clinic, part of Artisan Aesthetics Group is looking for a Clinic Development Manager who can lead and grow a busy cosmetic clinic. In this role you’ll be required to lead and develop a team of clinicians and client experience consultants to deliver outstanding services and treatments to clients, which ultimately leads to exceptional client outcomes and clinic profitability. You’ll also be required to use business data to develop the skills and behaviours of the team and identify areas that need improvement, implementing new strategies to improve performance. Other duties include overseeing clinic operations including budgets, rostering, training and stock management and acting as a brand ambassador at all times. Apply for this job here.

For more exciting opportunities in beauty, visit the Professional Beauty Job Board today.

This article was produced in partnership with Jobbio.

Read the current issue of our digital magazine here:

Have an idea for a story or want to see a topic covered on our site and in our pages? Get in touch at

Back to top