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It is very important to take credit for the (good) work you do. And esp for the good work that others do (just kidding).

Professional success involves a blend of talent, hard work, and visibility.

Recognition plays a pivotal role in career advancement.”

We always hear the stories of successful people on podcasts… people sharing their journeys and highlighting their dedication to the craft. Most of these guys are talented (not questioning that), but most of them will never talk about the controversial traits that may have helped many of them get ahead in their careers.

One such trait that remains less discussed is the nuanced art of credit attribution, both for one’s own contributions and, controversially, for the work of others.

The 2011 cricket World Cup is a good example, with stars like Zaheer, Yuvraj, Gautam, Sachin, Sehwag, Harbhajan, and Dhoni all contributing to the triumph. Yet, public recognition often gravitates more heavily toward certain individuals, or let’s just say “toward one person.”

What worked for the person?

Talent, of course.

But were others not talented?

Did others not contribute as much as him (if not more)?

Undeniably, he deserved all of it.

So did others.

But did others get even 5% of the fame that came his way?

Sadly, no.

How come he got attributed the most?

It was because of the domino effect of the following three-

  1. Talent, of course.
  2. Graciously embracing credits (not pushing it away).
  3. PR & marketing.

When you’re a top performer in your field, you will naturally attract a lot of credit/attention. Anyone would be a fool to push it away. Nothing wrong in embracing it with open arms. But smart peeps not only embrace it graciously but maximize it with good PR and marketing.

In other words-

It’s not always about the talent of those who stand in the spotlight. Sometimes, it is about how you embrace incoming recognition and the effective use of public relations and marketing. These elements can amplify visibility and credit, sometimes disproportionately.

In the competitive arenas of sports, business, or any field, the ethics of credit attribution can indeed be complex. While claiming credit for oneself is generally seen as fair, the ethics become murky when one is credited for the work of others without acknowledging their contributions.

A creative head who wins accolades from the top leadership for the work that is done by a fresher (who isn’t even part of the meeting) is evil. If they didn’t take credit, I doubt how many creative heads would be where they are today.

But this post isn’t about diminishing anyone’s achievements or fostering envy. Rather, it’s about recognizing the multifaceted nature of success. It’s about underscoring the importance of graciously fighting to get credit for your work, not getting overshadowed, and steering clear of environments that consistently fail to recognize your efforts.

For more such posts, follow Nishant Choudhary on Linkedin.

Nishant Choudhary

Nishant is a marketing consultant for funded startups and helps them scale with content.

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