Don't Be The Hero

As a young employee, you have a lot to prove.  People do not know you as a person or a professional.  Over time they will get a better feel for you in both categories, but initially you need to make sure they know who you are and how you perform.

A common mindset of young employees is they feel they need to show their performance by doing something amazing.  Oftentimes, trying to be overly impressive also comes with doing work alone.  The reason young employees have this mindset is because they want the credit for doing a great job.  Getting credit for completing a great job, and doing it all by yourself, will lead to more accolades, a bigger raise, and a faster promotion, right?

It won’t.

Trying to be the hero and do it all by yourself will harm you as a professional as well as the product you are working on.  As a professional, you are missing out on the opportunity to network with others.  Working solo does not allow you to expand your network.  It also means you are not getting a wide variety of feedback and perspectives on your project.  Which means there are likely holes in your logic and the end deliverable.  Plus, you have a goal of someday being a people leader (probably).  People leaders have to delegate tasks to others.  Now is the time to practice delegation, before you become a people leader.

Don’t be the hero when it comes to your project.  Yes, there are others at your same level who are competing for the same promotions and pay raises.  But, just because one of you gets promoted or gets a raise does not mean the other cannot.  It is not a zero-sum game.  By sharing the responsibilities and bringing others into a project you are actually creating more brand impressions for yourself.  It is another way for those you work with to advocate for you further down the road because they have worked with you directly and know you are a great employee.

In the movies, the hero takes all the glory.  In Corporate America, the people that spread the glory around are are shown to be invested in others as a team player are the ones that see success.

Thought Starters

  • How can you incorporate others into your projects to make it a more successful end product?
  • What ways can you communicate to others to get them engaged in your projects to ensure you have a wide variety of perspectives?