Avoid Victories over Superiors

All victories breed hate, and that over your superior is foolish or fatal. Superiority is always detested, a fortiori superiority over superiority. Caution can gloss over common advantages; for example, good looks may be cloaked by careless attire. There be some that will grant you precedence in good luck or good temper, but none in good sense, least of all a prince; for good sense is a royal prerogative, any claim to that is a case of lese majeste. They are princes, and wish to be so in that most princely of qualities. They will allow a man to help them but not to surpass them, and will have any advice tendered them appear like a recollection of something they have forgotten rather than as a guide to something they cannot find. The stars teach us this finesse with happy tact; though they are his children and brilliant like him, they never rival the brilliancy of the sun.

Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

In their shortsightedness, many may feel it necessary to prove to their boss that they are very clever, yet they do not consider that human beings are vain creatures, who cannot stand the diminishment of their ego. Be prudent with who you decide to show your talents to, because envy is far more likely to be aroused, than admiration.

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