September 29

Sharing The Spotlight

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spotlight team

I’m very comfortable in having a strong team. I’m very comfortable in sharing the limelight with the team. – Sanjay Kumar

Have you ever been in the position on the journey to the top – or to leadership – where you have achieved something brilliant in the workplace…

And your boss has taken credit for it?

Whether it was an idea, a publication, a launch, an event or a last-minute save, there is nothing more frustrating – and morale sapping – than seeing someone else take ownership (and the kudos) for what you have worked like a maniac on.

And it doesn’t matter if it was to down them acting deliberately or simply out of a lack of awareness; the feelings of bewilderment, hurt and being slammed by someone who is senior to you on a management scale remain.

In the collaborative and connected workspace, it is essential as leaders to take others on the success journey. It’s about full disclosure; being brave enough to remember our own feelings of swallowing down hurt pride – and a few hot tears – and being vulnerable enough to allow others to stand fully in their own spotlights rather than always taking it for ourselves.

It’s about making clear statements, and ensuring that transparency is constant, and that success – all team members’ success – is celebrated. Our own included.

These are some of the key points to bear in mind in ensuring there are no egos fighting inner battles when an individual success occurs within the team structure:

  • Be prepared to partition rewards and recognition: give kudos to the person/people who developed the concept/product/launch, and then the team as a whole for supporting.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a back seat: the reason you have surrounded yourself with a team is because they are brilliant at what they do. You are not a one man/woman band. Allow yourself to realise that you have a circle of excellence, and be humble enough to see their worth.
  • Have clear areas of responsibility: this means when there is a success story, it’s easy to say ‘yes, that credit needs to go to X and Y’.
  • Make sure you take the time to celebrate your own successes and milestones: don’t put your own wins on the backburner – that’s when you will start to resent your team.

The first time you say ‘oh no, that wasn’t my idea, that was X’s, my amazing design guru’ when someone congratulates you on a win, it may feel a little – well, let’s face it. It may feel both strange and strained. Because the reason you are a leader is through initiative, and innovation, and ideation.

But then look at the face of the person you have just shared the spotlight with.

And remember what it’s like when it doesn’t shine on you.

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