Sharing credit, highlighting individual contributors and the teams they are a part of is rule 101 of design leadership. There is no personal credit at the leadership level - the performance of your team is it's own recognition. Be humble, work from the shadows and ensure your team has the visibility they need to be successful.
- Recognize contributions early. Praise strong work immediately when you see it rather than waiting for final results.
- Award credit to subteams. Call out specific subteams who made key contributions rather than assuming credit.
- Mention individuals by name. When praising work, mention those responsible by name in written and verbal announcements.
- Cite team members externally. Reference your team members’ excellent work when speaking to external groups.
- Empower others to share spotlight. Decline speaker opportunities and nominate more junior team members to speak instead.
- Make others the face of projects. Put forward engineers, researchers and designers as primary project spokespeople.
- Avoid personal pronouns. Use “we” and “our team” rather than “I” and “my” when discussing accomplishments.
- Object to inflated praise. If your contribution is overstated, humbly clarify the share others played.
- Represent all contributors. In images and illustrations, include diverse contributors, not just public-facing roles.
- Thank unrecognized roles. Personally thank those in supporting roles like operations who enable success behind the scenes.
Uplifting your team through selfless credit sharing fosters a culture of appreciation and inclusivity. Lead this way.