I just finished up a coaching call with a late-stage CEO client, and we were talking about a situation where he helped tee up a couple successes for a new senior executive on his team and then promptly gave the exec credit for the successes. That’s good form as a leader – you take the blame when things go wrong but give away credit when things go well.
But my client articulated a selfish reason to this that goes beyond the “good leadership form” argument that I’d never thought of before:
“When you give them the credit, you win twice.”
What he meant by that is that you get your first win when you bolster the person on your team by giving them the win. And you get your second win when others (the rest of the team, your board, etc.) see the goodness that happened and realize that it happened on your watch as the CEO — either by hiring the person who got the credit, or by orchestrating the broader scenario.
After all, who doesn’t want to win twice?