Deflecting Praise

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One of the hardest things to do in life is to deflect praise to others; and yet praise deflection is one of the most important assets a leader can possess. I’ve watched many managers fail to take the next step into a position of real leadership because they were unwilling or unable to credit others; they wanted it all for themselves.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), with leadership comes great responsibility. It’s not a path for everyone but with great responsibility comes great opportunity to lead as well as to influence others. It’s also a chance to build future leaders.

Being a leader means having a clear vision or goal. It means possessing a clarity around where you are going and what you are trying to accomplish, no matter what others may think. This quality separates leaders from others. Having this vision and passion to motivate others to your calling turns the regular individual into a special type of person.

Leadership is also not just about directing the actions of others and making them follow your lead, it also means conducting yourself in a manner that hopefully inspires others to do the same.

I recently read somewhere (and I paraphrase) that a true leader accepts full responsibility for themselves, as well as for the entire team, when they are wrong, just as they take credit when they are right.

I would take this a step further. A true leader not only accepts responsibility when they are wrong, but deflects the credit to others when they are right. To me, that is the true essence of leadership. Your job is not to be right, but instead to build others up at the expense of your own ego and accolades.

Matthew Achak

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