Story #1. I gave David, the board member, several ideas privately on how he could improve the new business strategy of the startup. I expected him to go directly to the CEO and explain these to him. To my pleasant surprise he made all the suggestions in an email and attributed all the ideas to me, thus giving me full credit for them. My respect for him increased exponentially. I will always be willing to help David.
Story #2. As I read Sinans book I saw that he took credit, for the innovations at Company “A”, as if he thought of them and implemented them on his own. No one that was part of the process was even mentioned.
Then by accident I met with the subject matter expert for the innovations implemented at Company “A” at a breakfast, and found that he had worked for the “Consulting Company” who did the actual discovery and work to implement the entire process for Company “A” that were now part of Sinan’s new book and for which Sinan was taking full credit.
It gets even better….. Two weeks later I have lunch with a group of engineers and meet Greg (the names have been changed). Greg is a freelance consultant. In my conversation with Greg I find that the “Consulting Company” did not have the expertise inside their ranks to do the actual work for Company “A”, and contracted with Greg to fulfill the contract. In the end there seems to have been a number of people, including a section of a new book, that took credit for Greg’s work without ever mentioning Greg’s name.
In the above two examples, which people would you rather work for? One was eager to share the credit and make another look good. The other was a eco system of individuals who did not pass on the credit. By doing this they left me to assume they each had done everything.
Giving someone credit for their work is honest and shows that you have character, especially when you don’t have to give the credit. David could have told the CEO privately without me ever knowing. But then look at story #2. I am sure that the participants did not expect that I would have serendipitously ran into the players in that story to understand how it had actually unfolded.
The moral of the story is to be like David and give credit and build others when ever and where ever you have chance. If you don’t, others will find out that you let the credit fall on your door step.
By the way, this type of character trait is common in David. David builds people and people want to work with and for him. If you compare the success level of David to the other players in story # 2 you will see that David is vastly more successful than any of them.
It should be pretty obvious why!
Its about the people!
John E Tanner