It’s a great feeling to accomplish something—whether you’ve completed a personal project or have been part of a group working on a group project. But beyond the mere achievement, there’s also the opportunity to emerge as a leader, the opportunity to build your reputation as someone who can get things done and drive the people around him to success as well.
And this opportunity arises when credit comes your way. Showing gratitude and accepting the credit for your accomplishment is normal, and it feels nice. A leader instead will defer the credit to his team. Even if people know that you played a large hand in this enterprise, they will still recognize that despite your words. They will also notice how you recognize the efforts of your team and influences around you.
This is when people will talk behind your back—not in an insidious way, but in a positive and praising way. And giving people the ammunition to talk positively behind your back is an excellent way to build your reputation. They can see how much of a team player you are; they can see how you’re focused on the mission rather than yourself.
And when people see that you’re a team player and that you’re focused on the goal rather than making the effort to seem like you’re a bigshot, this is what makes a leader great. We know that a great leader will defer to his teammates and to the importance of a project; it’s all about focusing on the larger-than-life importance of the mission. This is something you can even apply to personal projects! When someone compliments you for your personal work, you can mention how this can help others.
Give this strategy a shot the next time you receive praise, defer the praise, and let people talk behind your back!
Stay tuned, and stay awesome!
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