[Myth #7] Only my individual contribution counts towards a promotion

When I started managing teams, I felt to be a “good” boss meant that I should “we” every time I wanted to showcase an accomplishment. “We successfully finished the project”, “we won that deal”…

I wanted so hard to avoid being seen as a manager that takes unduly credit, that I didn’t give myself any. It was all about “team effort”.

The result? From the outside, my impact was diluted on a sea of “we”. More concerning, when talking with others, I’d unconsciously lean towards showcasing those efforts where I acted alone, as a felt I need to retain the “expert hat" if I wanted the business to value my work.

What a waste of time!

It took me time to learn that leading projects, spearheading initiatives, and coordinating teams have value and that businesses do recognize that value. I also learned that when working in teams there is nothing wrong with drawing attention to both the performance of the team and my specific contribution. E.g. Managing the project or leading the negotiations with a prospect. It doesn’t need to be “either or”, it can be “yes and”.

How to counter myth #7? Look at the key initiatives you’re working on and take the time to reflect on the accomplishments of the team and your particular contribution. Then, practice talking about it!

Back to you: How do you ensure that your contributions to team efforts are noticed?