Who’s in the spotlight?

Carl Stotz (02/20/1910 – 06/04/1992) was the founder of Little League Baseball. He lived and died in the community where I live. In my minds eye, I can still see him watching games from his folding lawn chair. For Carl, Little League was always about the children and not about him. I never saw him publicly grabbing for the spotlight.

If you’re currently leading, you’ve experienced success in the past. You may feel the temptation to take credit, to grab for glory. I urge you to resist.

The more deeply you feel urges to step into the spotlight the more urgently you must turn it on others. However, a new problem emerges.

Praising some creates jealousy in others.

The down side of publicly shining the spotlight on others is jealousy. For example, your team completed its last project on time and under budget. Mary and Bob went the extra mile, while the other six did a good job. When you spotlight some, the “dark side” comes out in others. They think, “Why are they getting all the credit. I worked hard too. Mary and Bob are suck-ups.” What’s a leader to do?

Three Questions

Question #1 – How do you shine the spotlight on others? Note that spotlighting others is a public activity not a private one.

Question #2 – Turning the public spotlight away from you toward high performers may create jealousy in others. Should you honor high performers anyway?

Question #3 – How do you deal with any negativity that may result from spotlighting some but not all?

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Speaking of spotlights, I’m very thankful for everyone who left comments on yesterday’s blog: Bottlenecks.

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Leadership Freak

Dan Rockwell