A great business adage is “Give all the credit; take all the blame.” Very few leaders really embody this principle, because too many people hold on to the credit, and never want to be “blamed”. However, business leaders can gain a great deal of respect by stepping up and owning a problem. Most bosses really appreciate someone who thinks creatively and will volunteer to solve a challenging issue. When something really goes wrong, saying “Let me fix that” will enable you to stand out. By the way, “Let me fix that” is a reframe of “It’s my fault”, so you are taking the blame, but stating it in a positive, solution-focused manner. When the solution materializes, find ways to give credit to others who contributed. You won’t have to say anything about your own contribution – it will be apparent to everyone.
Stepping up to bat when a problem arises can enable you to really shine. Positioning yourself as the leader of a problem area in the company also positions you as the key solution provider – you know the problem better than anyone else, you are responsible for the solution, and can then position yourself as a key change agent. This is a great way to build a name for yourself.
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