Excerpted from the book on mindful business management, Business Black Belt
Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.
~ Thomas Edison, Inventor
Watch a skillful billiards player… It’s easier to take credit for your skill when you’ve called your shot vs. just slamming the ball and hoping for it to fall into any pocket.
It’s easier to take credit for your contribution to a project when you’ve staked your claim to it up front. My assistant came to me once and asked, “I’m doing all these projects… How can I get credit for doing them?” It’s not so much that she needed to get paid for them, but she wanted to feel acknowledged for doing these projects to prove her value in a more tangible way, other than, “Oh yeah, you’re great. You do all these important things.” She wanted to know she did some specific thing and got credit for it after the fact. It’s human nature. When something goes well, everyone wants to take credit for it. And, of course, when it doesn’t go well, no one wants to take credit for it.
My response was that taking credit and being acknowledged for something really came from accountability for the project. For example, we had an open house that was an extremely successful event. My assistant can take the credit for it, because when we first talked about doing an open house, she said, “I’ll handle it,” and she did. So getting the credit after the fact ties directly back to taking accountability for the project in the first place. This was her project and she took ownership of it. It was obvious who was going to get credit for it when it happened. There’s nothing worse than to be quietly working on a pet project that you make a significant contribution to only to have someone else come along and act as if they made it happen and get all the glory. It’s much better to fight over taking charge of projects and activities than to feel ripped-off after you’ve done the work.
(If it’s a failure or worse, a disaster, which is what most people fear, don’t worry, no one will notice and your connection to it will fade and be forgotten — especially if you own up to it and demonstrate that you learned something and perhaps added to your company’s knowledge base.) Even minor successes are worthy of a round of applause at a meeting and a good e-mail PR campaign as to your brilliance (even if you write it yourself!). You must step up and take ownership of a project in its formative stages and publicly pronounce your responsibility for it if you want the recognition for its success.
Business Black Belt Notes
- Call your shots first for maximum credit.
- Credit comes with accountability
- To get maximum credit for a success, publicly put yourself in charge of the activity.