Can ‘doing the right thing for others’ do anything for you?

Everyone around me knows my mode of operation is to always promote people’s efforts and successes. I work their names into meetings and fully expose their delivered work. Presenting the wins as how they will help many rather than just a project done and behind us. This is not only for their ears when the hard working individual is in the room, it gets done if they are present or not. It’s a matter of giving credit so that later when their name comes up, people automatically associate a winning attitude with them.

When things go horribly wrong, those same team members know that it doesn’t do anyone any good to get called out in a meeting as at fault. It isn’t often that there is a single point of failure either so naming names only does harm. We as a team win, we as a team must answer for issues. The team has a tendency to help guide individuals that may put them in the position of failure.

Of course, win or fail, it does come down to the leader and their ability to both guide and forecast. Attention must be given to the what-ifs and the whys as a project moves forward. I usually stand alone in the meeting to answer for any issues so I push the other managers and team members to do the right thing. Take pride in their work so their name is mentioned… yearly reviews go much better for those that had their name mentioned with a win-win.

Team members learn to trust that their name will be inserted when ever possible for maximum credit. They see results when Sr. Management comes through the offices and thanks the team, pointing out wins for individuals involved.

It is interesting that most managers try to look for an hidden agenda for why they are being given credit in a meeting. They keep waiting for the follow up, ‘but’, and then the blame game. Although that never happens, many continue to question the motivation of pointing out other people’s efforts rather than have the manager take full credit. Usually these individuals will accept the credit when their name is called out and take over the meeting with great detail of their efforts. Missing the point that they are diluting the credit and generally causing the meeting to go in the wrong direction, undoing all the positive attention.

The path does require upper management to understand that by giving credit to individuals, you are pointing out the quality of the team members. They must not loose site of the guidance given and the planning that must be done to help make individuals shine. Some, let’s call them ‘weaker’, upper management, will think that unless you take credit your not a key player. They are destine to fail… but you may want to work your own name in there as a direction giving team member.

Lastly, the hope of this method of credit giving, works best if people across the team share in the same mind. When asked, does the individual you gave credit to mention your name as being a good leader? Does the team get referred to as your (enter your name here) team? Do other managers give credit by name to your team individuals or to you?

Just amongst the Business groups I work with now, I find it interesting how they can be so radically different. It helps if upper management believes in the same credit giving. But, if a group is being led by management that spends their time promoting themselves, they most likely wont want to give you credit. It’s a tough field to plow, but I’m going to stick with it. The folks that do the work really need to be called out for their efforts, it helps makes their day job something to be proud of rather than just a paycheck.