Never take credit that isn’t yours

Monish Subherwal Humility Leave a Comment

When working with others, we can easily get carried away.  When the time comes to share a great idea, we can end up not giving the right credit to the right people.

When I have done this in the past (or seen others do this), I’ve seen it can end up destroying trust.  Others can feel that you are out only for yourself and may no longer want to collaborate as much.

When we can put ourselves aside and in a balanced way, give the right amount of credit to others (not more or less), it’s actually a bigger stepping stone to an ideal which is to cultivate a genuine wish for the success of others.   If we believe work is about competition, that there isn’t enough to go around, then yes, we can end up stealing credit (whether intentional or not).  So when we practice generosity, we learn to shift to more of an abundance mindset.  Genuine leaders do this – they acknowledge their teams efforts often.

A good rule of thumb is the golden rule, “treat others as you’d like be treated.”  At first, make sure you go out of your way to let others know if someone else contributed to your project or idea.  Of course, don’t overdo it either.  Not every contribution has to be noted.  Nor do you have to live in fear that others will be slighted if you don’t mention them.  Refer back to the golden rule if you find yourself unsure of what to do.

Author’s story:  I was once on a project where the design team was brought in to help the product management team develop a new product.  We worked with them for weeks up until the product was built and deployed.  When there was department level share out in front of hundreds of people, the product managers on the team shared the work.  However, they failed to mention the design team’s contribution!  Needless to say, it soured our design team’s relationship with the product management team. 

Another project I was on, I was redesigning a massive website.  This website was highly visible at the company.  The IT manager in charge felt he deserved most of the credit for the website work and began isolating himself and not collaborating anymore.  He felt I was stealing credit and making him look bad.  That being said, I didn’t believe so.  I had worked politely, I had hustled hard with my team of designers to come up with concepts which we had got buy-in from multiple stakeholders.  It’s a good example of not having to give undue credit.  Some people may exaggerate their contribution or try and take over your contribution.  Jealousy can even happen.  Keep calm, carry on.     

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