How to toot your own horn?

Successful managers lift, enable, and release others for peak performance and maximum results. But when others succeed, who gets the credit?

Don’t think it doesn’t matter who gets the credit, it does.

Mid-level managers give and get the credit

If those over you don’t realize how you lifted and enabled a peak performer, the success of a person you “secretly” lifted may make you seem incompetent. To make matters worse, credit-stealing backstabbers below you, along with ignorant, disengaged, or self-promoting leaders above you, may result in a career-disaster. If others consistently get the credit for work you’ve done, you’re done.

Written reports

Written reports to disengaged or distant managers must include samplings of how you lifted, enabled, and released peak performers. Briefly explain how you coached someone into a supervisory role. You can write something like, “I’m excited about Mary’s potential as a supervisor. She immediately implemented my suggestions on giving positive feedback to others.”


In conversations, occasionally explain your lifting and enabling activities. Avoid seeming braggadocios by asking your boss to suggest other strategies and techniques for enabling peak performance. You might say to your boss, “I’m working with Bob to mitigate his abrasive behavior by encouraging him to more frequently express gratitude. Do you have other suggestions?”


The danger of letting others know about your success is coming off like a braggart. Temper this by always expressing sincere gratitude for others and thankfulness for opportunities to make contributions. In addition, frequently honor those who enabled you.

Dangerous reluctance

You may be reluctant to let the spotlight shine on you. However, opportunities for advancement and increased influence are rooted in others understanding and appreciating your competencies. You may be thinking, “I’ll let the work speak for itself.” However, from an organizational perspective,  if the right people don’t know about your work, your work won’t matter.

What are the worst ways to shine the light on your own work?

How can a person highlight their own success or competency without seeming arrogant or degrading others?