Everybody wants to take the credit for a great idea, but nobody wants to take the blame for the bad ones. The trouble is, you’re never going to get that great idea put into action unless you take a chance on a few bad ones.
Most other people don’t want to get blamed when a bad idea goes wrong, so they mitigate their own risk by making sure that any idea that gets put into action has a pre-attached name to catch all the blame. If it’s a good idea, they get the credit for putting it into action — if it’s a bad idea, they can sacrifice the scapegoat who suggested it in the first place.
So how do you position yourself to get the credit if you’re already on the hook for the blame?
You take an active role in the implementation of the idea.
The process usually goes like this:
- Step 1.
You believe you have a good idea, so you go to “The Powers That Be” to see if you can get it put into action.
- Step 2.
TPTB decide this is an idea they’ll take a chance on, because you’re name is clearly printed in the box that says “It’s Their Fault”.
- Step 3.
The idea is put into production and you go back to your desk so you can get ready to bask in the glory of success.
At this point the project goes one of two ways:
It’s a success, but none of the glory find its way back to you. It got all sucked up by TPTB who sent it into production.
It’s a big flop and the blame finds you because TPTB are pointing their finger at you and saying it was all your idea.
You missed Step 4.
Step 4 is NOT going back to your desk and waiting for your project to be a success and hoping the credit will find you. Step 4 is stepping forward and volunteering to be the person who puts the idea into action.
- You lead the committee to implement the change you suggested.
- You stand up for your idea in meetings.
- You sign your name to any associated memos or proposals.
- You share generous credit and praise others who are helping in the effort.
Take responsibility for making your idea a success, because the responsibility will surely be yours if it is not.