One of the quirks of business (and the human condition) is that when something goes well, everyone even remotely attached to it will try to claim (varying degrees of ) credit for it. Conversely, when the poo hits the an most people will conveniently vanish and blame someone else.

I have a strong issue with people accepting undeserved praise or credit for something they didn’t do. To me it’s short sighted and a quick way to devalue yourself in the eyes of your team. Maybe people do it because they have low IQ or self esteem? Or they are blinded by their own ambition or self-interest? Or they are so eager to get a pat on the back from their ‘masters’ that they don’t care whether they actually deserved it or not? Whatever the case, it’s fake and dishonest and that’s never good.

The great leaders never do it. They don’t need to. They share praise and recognition fully and appropriately. They make sure that everyone knows where the credit really sits and they go out of their way to ensure that the truth is broadcasted wide and loud.

These leaders are tough and are confident in their own abilities. They have no self-esteem or confidence issues. And importantly they keep their egos firmly in check which means they never feel compelled to lie or ‘fudge’ their own achievements. They implicitly understand that it’s usually better to take a little more of the blame when things go wrong and a little less o the credit when things go well. They also absolutely understand that you’ll achieve a lot more if you don’t care  who gets the credit.

This behaviour protects them even when things get rough. Why? Because they know that the more credit they give away, the more that will find its way back to them. They know too that the more they acknowledge and help their team, the more their team will want to help them. It’s called loyalty and it works both ways. It’s also rare (and priceless)…