Byron's Babbles

Learning To Appreciate All Who Contribute To The Success

“Quite often it takes more than just ourselves to achieve the success we claim to have made. Our success is a result of many people’s contributions: those of our parents and other family members, fellow workers, peers, teachers, and advisers.” ~ Martin Kalungu Banda

We’ve all seen it in a TV show. The character goes to her boss or parents with a bright idea, the idea is ridiculed, and then (sometimes in the same breath), the idea is repeated right back, word for word.  And, get this, it then becomes a great idea and he is glad he thought of it, too!

Unfortunately, these people do exist. In every company, in every organization, in every community, in every political party.  Some might not have as bad a case of it as others, but at some point, we will run into one of these people, or an entire organization of these vane people.

Furthermore, I have even experienced not being able to reach compromise or consensus because certain individuals ideas weren’t being used or he had not come up with the idea. This level of ego and vanity is amazing to me.

It Is Amazing What You Can Accomplish If You Do Not Care Who Gets the Credit.” ~ President Harry S. Truman

When faced with these type of situations I always remind myself and the group I am working with of the great thought of our 33rd President, Harry S. Truman, “It Is Amazing What You Can Accomplish If You Do Not Care Who Gets the Credit.” My choice has always been to favor the accomplishment of the idea, rather than worrying about getting credit for it. Really, very few accomplishments can be credited to any single person anyway.

This very topic was the subject of the chapter I was reading this morning in the awesome book I am currently reading, Leading Like Madiba: Leadership Lessons From Nelson Mandela by Martin Kalungu Banda. In this chapter, Kalungu Banda teaches us that sharing the credit is a mark of great leadership. An interview of Nelson Mandela is the subject here where he shows that success is often the result of concerted effort by many people. In the interview Mandela says, “…the reality of our struggle is that no individual among us can claim to have played a greater role than the rest.” To me, this says it all – it took (or will take) everyone, not just one!

“Being praised for what we have done is such a sweet feeling. Then we know that our efforts are being recognised and appreciated by others. We all need that kind of feedback from those around us. But I suspect we are sometimes too eager to receive praise for ourselves. Then we end up forgetting those we worked with to achieve the very things we are being praised for. Selfishly we make ourselves the centre of a reality that is much larger and greater than us alone. We exaggerate our contribution out of all proportion. Without meaning to, we start radiating negative energies that repel others from wanting to cooperate with us.” ~ Martin Kalungu Banda

We have all seen people who have become so caught up in what they think they have accomplished that they forget there are/were a lot of of others working on that same issue with them.

“The paradox is that the more we acknowledge and celebrate the capacities and contributions of those around us, the more we deepen the strength and prowess of our own character. We become poised to do greater things because others feel confident enough to win with us.” ~ Martin Kalungu Banda

The fact is, great leaders recognize and honor the contributions of others. In fact, the greatest of leaders deflect credit from themselves to others. We need to learn from Mandela and create the space for others to be acknowledged. Here are a couple of questions to consider:

  • Even if it is your idea, would you rather be right, or get the idea implemented?
  • How much do you value your vanity, your pride?

One Response

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  1. Share The Success | Byron's Babbles said, on January 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    […] done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them. In fact, I recently blogged about this in Learning To Appreciate All Who Contribute To The Success while writing about one of my heroes, President Harry S. Truman. This again came up during a […]


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