April 9, 2016

Share Credit, Take Blame

Written by Boyd Bailey

Share Credit, Take Blame 4.9

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 9, 2016

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function.    Romans 12:3-4

Credit is not created for one person because if any one person holds onto it, credit corrupts. It corrupts one’s judgment by causing him to think more highly of himself. Confiscated credit gives you a false confidence. It is a confidence based on the illusion of invincibility instead of the reality of culpability. Credit is a “pearl of great price” that needs to be shared, so share it often and share it liberally. Wise leaders quickly give away credit to individual team members and to the team as a whole. Credit given is recognition of the contribution, skill, and smarts of the staff.

A leader who dispenses credit knows he or she has severe limitations. Very little excellent execution and follow-up would occur if not for the people who give tedious attention to the details of implementation. You give credit where credit is due because the team represents the eyes and ears of your leadership. Secure leaders can’t wait to give away the credit. It burns a hole in the pocket of their ego. Strong leaders understand how to value others and their unique contributions to the culture of the organization.

Therefore, share the credit by praising people publicly and privately for their character and values. This affirms them before their peers and puts the emphasis on what’s really important. Provide financial rewards, for this spreads the wealth around and communicates care and generosity. Recognize specific achievements such as a project completion or graduation from a professional training program. This encourages your team’s growth and development.

A leader also takes the blame when necessary, because this models responsibility for actions. A leader keeps the buck of blame instead of passing it on. He is as quick to take the blame as he is to share the credit. When there is a breakdown in process or a dropped ball of responsibility, the only name he mentions is his own. He is the culprit in a crisis. Like a surge protector, he buffers the blame from the team by standing in the gap with mature leadership. He has no claim to fame, but he does take the blame when things go wrong.

A leader’s example of  blame-taking is infectious to followers. Followers unconsciously find themselves emulating the same blame ownership in their spheres of influence. “I am responsible” and “I missed the deadline” are common statements of blame-takers. When you learn how to effectively take blame and give credit, you are on your way to mature leadership. Mature leadership trusts the Lord, who blesses trusting leaders. He empowers people through leaders who share the credit and take the blame.



Heavenly Father, give me the humility and courage to give away credit and take the blame.

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