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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

10 Apr '12

Giving credit away

Leaders take way too much credit for their success for in reality our success when we see it is less a factor of what we have done and more a factor of what our team has done. That is not a statement of false humility but one of true reality. 


We as leaders may set the pace and direction but it is staff and teams who through collaborative effort make things happen. Too often, however, we are content to take the credit for success rather than lifting up those who did the hardest work, our team. By far, good work in execution is harder than good work that leaders do in setting the direction.


Giving credit away is not always a public thing. The simple act of thanking a staff member for what they are doing with specific explanation of how their contribution has made a difference is a powerful conversation. Many would prefer that over public recognition. And it lets staff know that you have noticed what they do, are aware of their work and deeply appreciate it.


Doing something nice for your team, something that actually costs something once in a while also sends a powerful message. Even in an age of frugality, splurging once in a while on your staff says, "I appreciate you and your work." 


Leaders are often visited by other leaders. Make a point to introduce those who visit you with members of your team that are present in the office. You send a dual message by doing so: to your staff that they are important and to your visitors that you value your staff. 


Finally make it a point to greet your staff and ask about their personal lives and family. They are not simply valuable because they work for you but because they are God's son or daughter. Treat them like you would a family member by showing interest in them as persons, not simply as employees.


If team means anything it means sharing credit with those who together with you make things happen. Your loyalty and appreciation to them will make them loyal and appreciative of you and your leadership. Be generous in sharing credit.