Dogfaces are just normal, everyday people -- they are the "everyman" that makes the world operate. Click on the image for more info.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Credit and Blame

Have you ever had a boss take the credit for your work or the work of your team?

Have you ever made a mistake and then watched your boss, when the **** started hitting the fan, step back, point at you and say "there he is"?

I have.

It sucks.

To me, those are no kind of leaders at all.

I was taught a long time ago, so long ago that I don't remember who taught me, "leaders share the credit and take the blame". I think it must have been back in my Army days. It's a code I've tried to live by for many years. Sometimes I've done better than others.

Sharing the credit. You want to build loyalty among your troops? You want to build up leaders who can carry on in future roles? You want to see your folks flourish? Then get them recognized. When your team (including you) does something great, ensure others know that they did it (not you).

Don't worry. Along with completing the mission, your team is responsible for making you look good. If you take care of them by teaching, coaching, developing and then showcasing them, you won't have any trouble looking G R E A T.

Taking the blame. Your job, as a leader, is to keep the crap off your folks so they can focus on and excel at their duties. Your job is to protect them from outside forces that might harm them. You're the mother hen, the mama bear that ensures your young survive. When your team screws up (and they will), you did it. You let those outside your team know that you take the responsibility and not because you're great, but because it's your job.

Just because you take the blame for one or more of your team when they mess up, it doesn't mean they get away with the mistake. You, as their boss, can provide the coaching and correction needed to get the culprits back on track...but you're doing it inside your team. And, hopefully, as a leader in a position of authority, you've had the opportunity to build some funds in your "credibility bank" so you can take more of the heat from outside than your team member(s) can. You've built up a thick hide so "no worries", right?

So, don't be one of those leaders who says "I" when the good stuff happens. Instead, say "we" or "they". And when the bad stuff happens, you'll have your opportunity to say "I".

1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.