Managing Developers...Part 6...Spotlight-er Issues

Have you ever thought that your people just want to be in the spotlight all of the time? Do you feel like your developers are always trying to steal credit for something from you or from others? I call these people "spotlighter-ers".  But the "spotlight-er" behavior is a symptom of a bigger issue. The cause is, again, your problem. Every developer I've ever met would much rather be allowed to make a good decision on their own, without being second-guessed or micro-managed, quietly, without taking any credit. We developers expend too much effort seeking to claim credit for every little thing. Most developers really don't want to claim credit for every little thing.

But developers will want to be in the spotlight if they feel as though someone they despise might steal the spotlight undeservedly. I don't mind if my Benevolent Dictator claims my idea as his, but I won't tolerate it if some jackass manager does.

This is important: If your developers are spotlighters then they fear that any credit you may take for something will send a message to the Higher Ups that you are actually a Good Manager. In this case the Spotligher will do everything in his power to make sure everyone knows that he, and not you, is the reason for the success. The Spotlighter may even subtley suggest that they succeeded with this idea without your managerial support.

There is no direct, easy fix for Spotlighter problems. As a manager you have to determine why the behavior is being displayed. What are you doing that is causing this?