When you’re leading a team, give your people ALL the credit.

So much of management and business leadership is counterintuitive — even paradoxical. Here’s an example: “The less credit you take for the results your team achieves, the more credit you’ll receive.”

Many managers simply don’t get that. They think their job is to “get results” and that senior management is watching their individual output. That’s wrong. A manager’s role is to “get results through other people” and higher-ups are much more interested in whether managers are capable of hiring and training top performers.

The distinction can be subtle. What if you hired people who supported you brilliantly and made you a star performer? Wouldn’t that win you accolades? Yes, until your supporting cast started wondering, “What’s in it for me?” and bailing on you, which would inevitably happen if your people were any good.

What the big boss really wants
What senior management really wants is managers who can attract, develop and retain star performers — people who achieve results you couldn’t possibly achieve on your own. The only way you’ll retain stars, however, is to give them credit for their off-the-charts performance.

That requires, of course, that you have the self-confidence to give credit to others. And the wisdom to recognize that your own bosses will be in awe if they see you have a knack for creating stars. They’ll give you ALL the credit — even though you never asked for it.

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