Leadership doesn’t mean take all the credit.
If employees read and hear leaders drop a lot of, “I did this” and “I did that” and, in essence, “look at me go!”, the word choice can create unnecessary distance and fracture the relationship between management and staff.
If you, as a team leader, did accomplish a task, then it may be appropriate to lead with “I.”
For example, in an email to multiple staff members: “I went ahead and called our client, Morgan, to reschedule the meeting for Friday at 2:30 p.m.”
But if the particular action involved several hands, then don’t act like you did all the heavy lifting — or omit the people who played a key role.
Again, in an email to multiple staff members, several who could have played a role in the “heavy lifting”: “Thanks to everyone who put in the extra hours over the weekend to finish out the RFP for the Jackson account. That’s an account we’d love to have to build up our robotics division.”
Now, observe how much differently that quote reads with a focus on “I.”
“Good news. The RFP for the Jackson account is done and submitted. I hope we land the account because I’d love to add that project to the company’s robotics division.”
Feel a different vibe here? All about me, me, me — the great and esteemed company leader.
Keep an eye on “I”.
Your employees sure will.