Share the Credit, Own the Blame

When someone introduces me as a superior, boss or supervisor I always correct them immediately, and explain it’s my job to get the best out of people, to never do more than share credit and always take the blame. They usually laugh and look at me like a confused puppy, but it’s true. If you look at those you lead/supervise as people you need to elevate and if they fail it’s your fault just as much you’ll get much more out of your team and them from you.

Many will tell you taking the credit is the majority of what they strive for, to be recognized and be promoted.  My theory is simple it is better to have the world giving you credit than yourself asking for it and screaming for attention.  But in all honesty I am not driven by credit, rather helping the companies I work with grow from the ground up, building a strong foundation and the people to carry it on well past my departure. Its more than quick fixes and illusions; instead hard work and dropping pillars ten feet into the ground that may never be seen but always be needed.

Why “share” the credit versus taking it? It’s extremely simple, in that I believe people are smarter than we give them credit for, and if your name is constantly being associated with shared credit people will see the pattern.  The amazing thing about coaching and growing others is the affect it has exponentially.  If you are building a network, a team of people that trust you, grow with you and challenge each other your ability to affect change grows at an exponential rate versus that of one person.  If your goal is ultimate success you need to work with those around you to build a strong

Imagine if you are one person who has the credit for building one great product at one business; it is great to have that distinction, feather in your cap.  Now imagine your name is associated in conjunction with the success of five different companies, not as the sole person, but an integral part. What do you think will carry more weight long term?  The lasting effect one can have on an organization by allowing others to share in the success and credit is the trust others will see in them.  This confidence is paramount when rebuilding structures and companies regardless of size and industry.

Confidence drives markets, drives investors and drives our economy.  If you are the sole person to gain credit that confidence leaves with you. If you share that credit, that confidence there is a lasting impact as you leave and continue to grow.  The next step is about being accountable for your team, your company and those around you.  If you want your team to be leaders, you need to take blame when their actions affect your company.  When leading, we are responsible for the actions of those below us, this is not a new idea, but one that has lasted centuries through military and social constructs.

Leaders were held accountable for those in their command from the times of Romans and present day.  Being a leader, a supervisor or “boss” is about putting your hand up and taking the blame and sharing the credit is how you build a culture of the same.  If your staff, employees and company work collectively towards a common goal you achieve much more than a group of individuals working in parallel towards common goals.

The difference lies in the communication, the buy in and overall movement towards the goal you are trying to reach.


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