Managers: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Part VII)

choose wisely

Credit Taken, Credit Not Due – The Ugly

One of the most destructive of all management traits is the manager who takes credit for everything that their staff actually produced. Where things get ugly, is when the manager takes credit for something that they know nothing about. Staff sees that as a huge credibility gap and will start to losing respect for the manager immediately.

“There are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less completion there.” – Indira Gandhi

I saw this behavior several times over the years, and even tried to help the offending manager recognize and correct the behavior. Unfortunately the manager was unable (unwilling) to see the flaw and continued to exhibit the practice. End result was that the real contributors started to ostracize the manager, and the more that manager tried to ‘get into the know’, the worse it became.

Especially amongst managers who ‘grand-stand’ this trait will completely de-rail any staff motivation in a heartbeat. Even the words ‘we did this, or we did that’ undermines the work which staff members put in, and therefore should get the entire credit. It is better to give credit to everyone in the group, leaving your name out of the equation all together. Credit to you will be inferred …

So why crow about it?