Taking It and Giving It!

Accountability Management Teamwork


Key Point: strong leaders take the heat when things are bad, and share the praise when things are good.

“…For the 36 companies we studied, …higher-ambition CEOs assume personal responsibility when things are bad and they give collective credit when things are good. These companies exemplify elements of both strong collective and individual leadership. Both — when used in the right situations — are essential for creating economic as well as social value.”

The above quote is from a recent Harvard Business blog which captured learning from research conducted by Tobias Fredberg and Flemming Norrgren. Most of us know from personal experience how demotivating it is when you work for someone who tries to squash your head in a vice when things go wrong. And then when the reverse happens there is no collective acknowledgment or recognition; the boss takes prime responsibility for the great result. In the long run this often builds simmering resentment amongst team members. Over time they leave and bring their talents elsewhere.

Character Move:

  • Don’t be that “guy.” Have the courage to take the heat and protect your team when things go wrong (attack the process and fix things …develop the person).
  • Be generous in praise when things go well. Share it. It will come back in many ways.


Taking and giving in the Triangle,