The great Bear Bryant once famously said about staff motivation …
“If anything goes wrong, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to win football games.”
It is a quote I like so much that I have it on the back of my business cards (at Manifest, everyone gets to choose a quote that inspires them for the back of their cards), but what does it mean in practice?
Well for one thing, we need to accept that when we ask someone to do something, we need to be absolutely sure of all of the possible consequences and, if any of those consequences are unpleasant or unpalatable accept that if they happen, then it is YOUR fault.
Next, if you ask someone to do something and they do it and the consequences are fabulous, then hey, have the humility to allow them to take the credit.
Maslow taught us that self-actualization is at the top of the hierarchy of needs and it is our jobs as managers of people to help them achieve this state and what better way than by protecting them from criticism whilst allowing them to take all the credit. It is the philosophy not only Bear, but of all of the great team managers.