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Sharing the Glory and Getting Things Done

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Principle: Share the Glory

Concept: “You can get a lot done, if you don’t care who gets credit.”

One can accomplish much more if you genuinely don’t care about or dwell on who gets the credit.  Each goal, project or strategy involves enlisting, gaining support and working with other people to succeed. If your ultimate satisfaction and well-being is supported by accomplishing the goal, project or strategy, you can afford to let others be on the podium or in the spotlight.


[edit] Detail

In the worst case, some people insist on keeping all the glory or credit for themselves and this hamstrings them from recruiting others to their cause.  Some people may even become opponents of your idea simply to make you look bad in extreme cases.

In the medium case, people will tend to focus their primary energies on their own ideas, projects and priorities rather than join your bandwagon.

In the best case, people objectively evaluate the idea, vision, project or strategy you are espousing and decide to join in.

The people who count the most will generally recognize your contribution, so in some ways it is not necessary to blow your horn, splash your authorship in headlines.

One test is whether you talk in terms of “I” or “We”?  Both send signals, but they are quite different messages.

[edit] History

Many famous and effective people have recognized this principle and its utility:

  • You can accomplish much if you don't care who gets the credit.
  President Ronald Reagan
  • There is no end to what you can accomplish if (or when) you don't care who gets the credit. 
 Florence Luscomb
  • There is no limit to the good you can do if you don't care who gets the credit.
  General George C. Marshall
  • There's no limit to what a man can achieve, if he doesn't care who gets the credit.
  Laing Burns, Jr.
  • It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
  President Harry S. Truman
  • It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.
  Coach John Wooden

[edit] Hubris and the seven deadly sins

There is a strong ancient recognition of the problematic nature of excessive pride as one of the original “seven deadly sins” dating back to the Greeks and other cultures.  Pride, or hubris, was considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self.

[edit] Resources

Peter de Jager a speaker, writer and consultant who focuses on how we manage change, technology and the future has also written about the concept of taking credit and getting things done Here

[edit] Related Best Practices

[edit] Author

The author of this article is Terry Gardiner.

Terry Gardiner is the founder and President of Silver Lining Seafoods and NorQuest Seafoods - a medium size Alaska seafood processing companies; and currently Board member of the Anvil Corporation, an employee owned company specializing in oil and gas engineering.

His co-operative experiences include member director of the Commercial Fishermen Co-operative association; creation of legislation for the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank; and advisor to the US Dept of Health and Social Services for the state Health CO-OPs.

Terry served ten years as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives -several legislative committee chairmanships, Speaker of the House, Chairman of the Alaska Criminal Code Commission and board member on various state and federal boards and commissions.

His non-profit experiences include National Policy Director for the Small Business Majority in Washington DC; working with the Herndon Alliance and ForTerra.

Terry authored the leadership book, "Six-Word Lessons to Build Effective Leaders: 100 Lessons to Equip Your People to Create Winning Organizations".

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