May 1, 2012

Credit Check!

Give credit where credit is due. It sounds obvious but it doesn't always happen. Especially in highly political and hierarchical organizations, people often get credit based on their power, not their actual contributions. As a boss it's your job to change that — not just in private meetings or conversations but in public. Look closely at your team or organization to identify the biases that cause some people's work or ideas to be overvalued or undervalued. Then make sure that the right people are getting the right credit for the right reasons at the right time.

Credit team members for crediting one another. Good leaders incentivize their team members to acknowledge and appreciate others' contributions. This "expansion" of credit enhances team cohesion and trust, promoting more and better collaboration.

Avoid the temptation to blame. When setbacks occur, it's natural to look for a scapegoat or a rationalization. But this diminishes your team's social capital. You should instead give everyone (even those outside your team) the benefit of the doubt and consider all the complex factors that may have directly or indirectly contributed to poor performance or bad outcomes. This is how you start working constructively to address the problems. Encourage your team members to do the same by reminding them of their long-term shared interests and goals.

As a leader, you need to pay more attention to the allocation of credit and blame to individuals so — perhaps paradoxically — your team pays less attention to it. If you do, they'll start performing in a way that is more collectively creditworthy.


  1. One of my dad's favorite sayings was: "If you do not care who gets the credit, you can accomplish much!"

  2. Too often hard work and outstanding performance are not given their due. That is why I personally go out of my way to give written Kudos to commend individuals whether it be in store, medical office, just about anywhere that an employee goes the extra mile to solve a problem and/or error and make my life easier and keeps my blood pressure down.

    Hugs, Rose


Tell Me What You Think, Don't Make me go Rogue on you :o)