Give Credit, Take Blame

Give Credit, Take Blame

Here’s the idea behind this technique: if you’re a leader (manager, pm, tech lead, VP, etc.), you need to accept personal responsibility for what goes wrong, just as you take credit for what goes right.

Imagine a meeting where a leader is given credit for a recent success. With the Give Credit; Take Blame, the leader replies: “Thank you. It was the team. We did well together.”

Now, let’s alter the variables. Imagine a review where a leader is faulted for a project’s failure. What happens next in this story? The leader, using Give Credit; Take Blame, replies: “Yes, the team and our challenges should have been better managed by me.”

These types of responses, gentle reader, do NOT happen very often.

By developing the practice of Giving Credit and Taking Blame, you not only serve your teams well, garner their loyalty, and promote exemplary behavior, you also differentiate yourself, because most leaders just don’t do this. But the good ones do.