Taking Credit And Forging Relationships

There is an old saying that goes, ‘Success has a thousand fathers. Failure is an orphan.’

Particularly within today’s matrix, global corporations, everyone wants to rally around a great idea, a transformative invention or a decidedly disruptive decision that generates a windfall for the bottom line – and a reputational boost for all involved.

High performers want to be part of winning teams. Winning attitudes are contagious. And winning projects that deliver big financial results are certainly one of the major ingredients of a successful executive career path.

Yet there are those moments when individuals who created a superior vision or who failed their way to an eventual, transformational breakthrough find themselves at the epicenter of so much organisational momentum and communication and begin to contemplate how they should interact, what they should share and how they can benefit.

It’s only natural – particularly given the sweat equity its creator or catalyst likely invested over the years – for an individual to take pause and consider how to retain some semblance of control over the matter. It’s also quite understandable to relate with the individual to ask,  ‘What’s in it for me?’ or, perhaps more tellingly, ‘What’s at stake here?’ or ‘What are the tradeoffs?’.

Taking a winning concept from start to finish is surely a gargantuan task in today’s complex and sometimes politicised global enterprises. There is actually good reason to believe that a great idea generated at one level will be hijacked by someone of authority higher up the corporate organisational chart.

It may well be that, in order to secure the right resources to develop or commercialise the idea, distributing the accountability and control over those outcomes makes all the sense in the world. It might also be that those shouldering the most responsibility for business results need to hitch their wagons to the best prospect for growth that comes along – regardless of where it was born.

The business of taking credit summons its own form of jockeying, politicking and currying favour. Some global business leaders relish the thought. Others are alienated by it.
Yet no matter your view, it’s important to understand your role in creating business success, fostering the growth of creative or potentially revolutionary ideas, and in collaborating for mutual good.

If there’s an idea that you’ve been sitting on, or one whose impact has already been noticed by colleagues and superiors, don’t go it alone or invest too much time and energy protecting your ownership. That kind of defensiveness, in and of itself, could soil and otherwise spotless record of executive performance.

Rather, look for ways to inform others about your idea or product innovation. Seek the collaboration of experts who can help fast track its adoption. Forge new relationships by crossing whatever organisational boundaries might stand in the way in order to put the potential results at the fore.

The truth is, if you’re focused as much on taking credit, you’re probably not investing the time your idea needs to grow. Rather, be seen as an advocate, an accelerator and invite others to join you on the journey. Your future would be well served to make great things happen – and let others notice their genesis.

Copyright © TRANSEARCH International 2014


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