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As the film finished, they started to roll . . the credits. The time when moviegoers stand and start to make their way out. Although the movie goer has little interest in the list of names, the list bears testimony to all the hard work behind the film and acknowledges each person’s part in the film.

As the reader turned the last page of the final chapter, they saw the credits page and closed the book and placed the book down on the table. To the reader, the book is finished and very few care to glance at the list of names and the comments the author has attribute to each one. And yet, without their input and support the book may never have been written.

Now, I’ve never made a film, but having just released my first book, I recognise for the author the importance of the credits. It was important to me to recognise the support of those who helped me write the book, those who cheered me on, those who helped shape my life, my leadership and therefore the book too. Just as important is the impact it has on those the credits are written to.

“The lovely words that you wrote at the end to us, made me well up,” was what my daughter Sophie said as she read my whole book in an evening. (She is a bookworm!) The credits can have a deep emotional connection.

For the illustrator, Jane, she needs to know that her creativity is wonderful and appreciated. For the proof reader, Lauren, and editor, Catherine, they need to know that their precision is crucial to make the book better and to be thanked for their patience and grace. Because a book comes to fruition through more than just the author. There is a team behind it.

Credits, is a crucial part of leadership. It is not just an ‘add-on’ that no-one needs.

  • Acknowledges them and their contribution

  • Builds trust

  • Cements further commitment

Patrick Lencioni, in his book ‘The truth about employee engagement’, says that there are 3 things that disengage employees.

  1. Irrelevance – they don’t know who they help when they do their job

  2. Anonymity – they don’t feel known or appreciated

  3. Immeasurement – they don’t know when they have been successful or have made progress

The ABC of ‘Credits’ helps address these 3 disengagements.

Acknowledges them and their contribution

When someone is credited with a contribution, they are reminded of what they have achieved and the impact they have. I believe that one of the key things about humanity, is that we need to feel that we have a purpose. Giving thanks for a contribution needs to be specific. When you say, ‘thank you for speaking calmly to that customer when they were getting angry, really helped to calm the situation and gave a great reputation for our company’, it lets the person know who they have made a difference to (the customer and the company) and what they do well.

Builds trust

Crediting those who have contributed is crucial for building trust. A leader who takes all the credit for themselves steals from those who made it happen. A leader who credits, brings value to those who made it happen. Who would you rather work for?

Cements further commitment

When you work hard and get thanked and credited for your contribution it makes you feel you have a part to play and make a difference. You will be happy to give more. But remember, giving people thanks, just so they continue to give more, should not be our driver for thanks. It is a bi-product, as people know that they are valued.

So, who can you thank and give credit to today? It is as easy as ABC!


  • My thanks to Ben, who reminds me each week to write the blog so he can post it on social media

  • My thanks to Sophie for her lovely comment that was perfectly timed to appear in this blog

  • My thanks to Patrick Lencioni for his brilliant book on engaging employees.

This is the third in the ‘Leaders write the story’ series of blogs.

Everyday Leader is here to inspire and equip everyday people to lead. We have a range of resources on our website to support you .

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