Recently, someone asked me, “When is it appropriate to give the team you lead credit for its accomplishments, and when is it appropriate to take credit for the accomplishments of the team?”
Fair question. My simple answer: team success is never about you.
Chemist and author Orlando B. Battista said, “Praise can be your most valuable asset as long as you don’t aim it at yourself.” I say, “Never take credit; always give credit.”
- Yes, you may have identified, recruited, and selected the right people to be on the team.
- Yes, you may have provided the training and coaching to everyone on the team.
- Yes, you may have made the tough decisions to take the team in a certain direction.
- Yes, you may have fought to get the team all the necessary tools to be successful.
- Yes, you may have put in more work hours than anyone else on the team.
- Yes, you may have rolled up your sleeves to help when the team needed it.
- Yes, you may have created a positive environment in which everyone on the team was engaged.
- Yes, you may have inspired the team with pep talks to overcome challenging obstacles.
Still, team success is never about you. It’s about your whole team-and you are part of the team.
Embrace this mantra: “If my team is successful, I am successful.”
When someone asked Ed Koch, ex-mayor of New York City, to explain his success in making significant improvements in the city, he replied, “I make absolutely sure nothing creative or important is ever identified as my idea.”
Humility is a leadership characteristic that earns trust and respect. With that comes loyal, dedicated followers who will accomplish the goals you set.