Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ten Aspects of Strong Leadership: Point #8

As we begin to wrap up the ten aspects of leadership, there are still some important ones to cover. Today's topic is recognizing the efforts of those around you as your organization moves forward.

8) Share credit

This skill like some others is linked directly with being secure as a leader. I have seen insecure leaders over the years be quick to grab credit for anything positive that happens. It seems they need to justify their existence by claiming responsibility. A few delusional ones even believe that they did it alone. I know someone who felt that he alone was irreplaceable. Everyone else around him was inconsequential and could be easily replaced. This is the antithesis of a strong leader.

Chuck Lauer states that a leader is best when people barely know he exists. This is tough for some leaders for many of us are drawn to the spotlight. But sharing it with all the people who make good things happen is extremely important. Recognizing someone publicly is a powerful motivator for them. We all want recognition. It may be the strongest reason why many people do what they do. One of the best bits of advice I got was to recognize employees who did something particularly well by sending a thank you note extolling their virtues to their home. This way it is seen by their spouse and family. It also is more personal and heartfelt.

The other side of publicly sharing the glory is stepping up and taking the blame alone. To publicly admonish employees in public will not achieve the desired result. It will destroy morale. Praise in public and criticize in private is a very true axiom. Everyone will realize the part they played in a failed initiative. A true leader is someone who takes it for the team and moves on.

More on leadership tomorrow.

Mark Brodeur

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