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 Studies confirm one type of ‘bad boss’ behavior will lead to employee disengagement and even turnover.

Here’s a scenario that may look familiar. The product development team designs a wonderful new app. The client is positively stoked about rolling it out and the PR team is building the campaign for its launch.

And then this happens: The manager or executive in charge of the project steals the spotlight and takes all the credit for the work.

No praise for the team, no celebration of everyone’s success, no recognition of team members’ contributions. When that happens, you can be almost certain that team morale will plummet to new depths. 

1 Simple Phrase

This type of behavior has come up frequently in research as a “bad boss” trait that leads to employee disengagement and even turnover.

A 2019 BambooHR study found “taking credit for employees’ work” was rated the worst manager behavior by 63 percent of respondents and something they would consider worth quitting over. 

To be sure, one must ask: Could “taking credit for employees’ work” actually work as a management strategy to get ahead? Or does it impede the leader and set him or her back?


According to a study published on Forbes, which evaluated 3,800 leaders and measured their effectiveness when taking credit from others, “those leaders were rated as very ineffective leaders (13th percentile), while those who tried hard to give the credit to others were rated as some of the most effective leaders (85th percentile).”

Having coached hundreds of managers and execs, I believe this toxic tendency of hogging the spotlight and taking all the credit is about individual performance.


Managers with this attitude are playing for the name on the back of the jersey and are only concerned about their accomplishments and how they look to superiors.

Giving others credit

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett once asked students at the University of Florida to imagine a classmate with the potential for long-term success, such that they would want to get 10 percent of that person’s earnings for the rest of their lives. Here’s what Buffett said:


You would probably pick the one you responded the best to, the one who has the leadership qualities, the one who is able to get other people to carry out their interests. That would be the person who is generous, honest and who gave credit to other people for their own ideas.

In essence, he is speaking of a servant leader – someone naturally bent on giving their people credit for their contributions, shining the spotlight on them and showing them appreciation.

In fact, Gallup research found that employees who receive credit regularly increase their productivity, receive higher customer loyalty and satisfaction scores and are more likely to stay with their organization.

Great leaders with loyal followers don’t need the glory or seek validation; they understand what they’ve achieved.

They shine the spotlight on others, then stand back and celebrate their accomplishments, which helps boost the confidence and trust of others.


This article was originally published in the original United States edition of Inc. or on and is the copyright property of Mansueto Ventures LLC, which reserves all rights. Copyright © Mansueto Ventures LLC.

Source: Inc.Africa


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