There is no TEAM without first ‘I’

We hear it from the time we are little, there is no ‘I’ in TEAM, so it’s ingrained into us to be humble, don’t take the credit, it’s not about you. When we succeed, we succeed together or it’s not a success. This blog goes out in particular to all of my fellow female co-workers getting run over and side stepped because they didn’t put the ‘I’ in. They forgot as they lead teams, collaborate and communicate to say, “Hey, I did that, and I’m really proud of it!” Is this you? Are you too, finding that although you’ve been an integral part of making something great happen, you cared so much about not making it about you that in turn; you got zero credit, others stepped in and took the credit and the people that need to know what you’re capable of, don’t??

This article doesn’t have the answers, this is an ongoing issue in my life and I’ve hit a few realizations that maybe I’m not the only one. I’m a big reader, I love to read and mostly love to read non-fiction business books. I eat them up! If I have one, two, even three take away’s, it’s worth it to me. Every leadership book, I read says, “give the team credit”, “don’t make it about you”, “that wouldn’t be possible without empowering your team” “you couldn’t do it all on your own”. And ALL of that is true! But you know what else is true, every good team has a leader. There’s a coach, a quarter back, a point guard, a captain, and the list goes on. Every team has key players and the game couldn’t be played without the entire team and it is also true that one of the key people is the person who is the catalyst, without them the team wouldn’t have accomplished what they did in the manner that they did. I recently was at a conference and heard Peyton Manning speak (if you don’t know who he is, a football great, look him up), now he’s a team leader, he spoke of the turning point in his career in which he was failing, what was said to him to turn it around and what he did. He takes credit for being a learning leader. One who is always thinking beyond himself but acknowledging that he ‘LED’ the teams he was on to do great things. If you are one of those leaders, stand up! Say, “I’m the leader and that (game, initiative, roll out, product, sale, insert your expertise) wouldn’t have been the same without me.” Stand up and say, “I juggled a lot of balls to make sure that this happened on time.” Stand up and say, “I led my team and I led them well in this.”

And why don’t we just stand up and say those things? Are we afraid of coming across as arrogant? I know I am. Yet, it’s cost me. Coming across too humble in the corporate world and not standing up and giving yourself credit leads to others having no idea what you are truly capable of. I once read the book, “What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business” by Christoper Flett, it’s been a long time and the need for a reread is in order. Because as females in business, we sometimes sabotage and undermine ourselves without even realizing it, and when we do realize it, it’s often too late.

My other blogs are full of 1, 2, 3’s and solutions for you, today, what I have to offer is this, a solution for myself; one that I’m doing to change the awareness around my leadership, what I am doing, how I am leading my team, and what I can be capable of.

  1. Get Chris’s book and read it. I’ll be pulling it off the shelf and rereading it.
  2. The next time I’ve done something, I’m going to commit to myself to say to my fellow leaders,”I led my team to do this great thing. I pulled together the resources, got the right people’s buy in, and enabled us to succeed together.” Yes, I did that and I’m going to stand up and say so.

I hope you will too.

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