It’s All About Me! What Happens When A Leader Takes All The Credit?

You may know a leader who has a habit of taking credit for others’ accomplishments. Their motive typically is to make themselves look more effective, hardworking, or intelligent than others. The reality is that in most situations at work it’s difficult to accurately assign who deserves credit. Even in situations where a leader does all the work on a new initiative, often their direct reports had to take care of many other assignments to allow the leader the time to produce the new work.

But does taking credit for the work of others, as a strategy to get ahead, help or hinder the leader using that approach?  What is the impact of giving others all the credit?  To evaluate the impact, I gathered Zenger Folkman assessments from over 3,800 leaders and measured their effectiveness using 360-degree evaluations from managers, peers, direct reports, and others. Each person was assessed on their tendency to take credit from or give credit to others. Their effectiveness was also evaluated on 49 additional behaviors. An average of 10 raters evaluated each person’s effectiveness, with each leader receiving feedback from different perspectives.

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