Credit Where It Belongs

I was disappointed today when a colleague showed me a project decision flowchart. I love the diagram, and I am very excited about the fact that my colleague finds it useful. It is fantastic that this decision tree can be a foundation for future work.

My disappointment came when a previous colleague was credited with developing the chart. Initially, the decision process was developed by me and provided to be a basis for that person’s work. The person who made the improvements would not have distributed it intending to take credit for someone else’s work. And there no reason to reference the original work (it was an iterative improvement.) My twinge of disappointment came from the fact that someone else was getting kudos for work that wouldn’t have happened without me. I didn’t say anything, because the point isn’t that I get credit, but that the organization makes the difference we mean to make in the world.

Harry Truman is credited as saying, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” But even if you do not care who gets the credit, it still feels good to be acknowledged. Remember this in your project teams. Acknowledge and give credit to the people who are the source of your success. You are there as a team, but people want to be seen and acknowledged. Give credit to where it belongs.