If you watched the Grammy’s on Monday night, you probably heard Taylor Swift’s speech where she said: “I want to say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there.”
While the Kanye controversy makes that quote extra juicy, there is truth to what she is sharing for leaders. Your job as a leader is to build people up. To give others credit and not worry about the people who are wishing you ill.
If you want to grow, here are three things to stay away from.
Don’t take credit. This is absolutely critical. If you take credit, people will not want to go above and beyond for you. There is nothing worse than putting your all into a project, and then the leader taking the accolades. Be a leader who highlights the accomplishments of others and openly shares how their wins impact the larger picture.
Don’t make it about you. Leadership is about caring for others. If you want to glorify yourself, consider taking on more individual contributor responsibilities. Be a leader who thinks about others more than yourself. Is there an opportunity that you can loop someone into?
Don’t be all talk. People will pay attention to what you do, even more than what you say at times. So do what you say you will do. Follow through on your commitments. If you are not good at doing this, you need to make an action plan. Who can be your accountability partner? Who can help you get better? This is not something to brush under the rug.
We learn just as much by remembering what “not to do” as well as what “to do”.