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What does FedEx and the Edmonton Oilers have to do with Business Development?

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit”

Stick with me on this for a moment.

Respectfully, I disagree with the late Harry S. Truman or any other leader who has put their twist on this commonly recited quote.

It truly does matter who gets credit.

The sentiment behind this longstanding quote was meant with the idea of humbleness and avoidance of grandstanding. Credit is not the motivation. Fostering a culture that naturally recognizes individuals for their contribution is.

I get that. I congratulate those who live this way.

What I also see is the misuse of the quote; let it be those on the giving or receiving end.

I have observed my share of disappointed faces when seeing another take credit without observing gratitude towards those who contributed to the cause. I have had countless mentorship talks with employees feeling defeated when another “ran with their idea”; eventually resulting in muting one’s desire to contribute to the team because they were simply not recognized. I have watched Advisor Teams, Succession Plans and Associate recruiting efforts, quickly fizzle out due to a lack of fundamental in-depth discussion and incorporation of one’s needs; personally, and professionally.

When looking at any high functioning team, healthy corporate cultures, or flourishing relationships, there is a common factor; efforts are recognized. With that simple gesture, an ecosystem develops with the interconnected needs we all are searching for. For me, this is gratitude.

Edmonton Oilers vs FedEx – 2 Extremes

The Oilers

Growing up on the outskirts of Edmonton Alberta, I was able to witness the Oilers “Dynasty Years”. Yes, it was incredible hockey to watch but my favorite part was listening to the post game interviews. It wasn’t uncommon for one of the “Starting 6” to be behind the mic. Full chin in hands and inches away from the TV, I would listen to my sports idols give credit to all those on and off the ice. They all had a position to play, from Glen Sather to Joey Moss. Everyone knew it because the team showed up for each other. They gave credit when credit was due.

Not every game was a tick in the win box. Some nights I watched defeated faces come off the ice. What I also witnessed was a team that rallied together by accepting responsibility and openly correcting in order to focus on a better outcome.

Physiological, Safety, Belonging / Loved, Esteem and Self-Actualization; from my seat in the stands, “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” being fulfilled was the TSN turning point as to why the Oilers bounced back so quickly after a loss. Behavioral motivation grounded by gratitude.


Let’s look at the 1st commercial from a collection of old FedEx ads.

For me, this satire drives the message home on the fallen faces I have witnessed when credit is not given or recognized.

After watching, do you agree that many of us have felt a version of this exact moment in our career or business relationship at one point?

My answer, YES!

Why do I say YES? Because it truly does matter who gets the credit.

Business Development – Coaching Teams

There are countless publications written about our current status of “The Great Resignation”.

From the articles, the top 3 common findings as to why:

  1. Toxic culture.

  2. Lack of innovation.

  3. Failure to recognize performance.

I ask you as a leader, teammate or one searching for a partnership, would an environment of authentic recognition aid in fostering a healthy culture? Does it matter who gets the credit?

  1. Would the toxic culture start to fade when one becomes heard, understood, and recognized?

  2. Would innovation heighten if individuals felt they had a voice at the table to share their ideas and insights?

  3. If we met with our teams, reports, or partnerships more frequently to address achievements, performance and encourage behavioral motivation; would that move the dial in the right direction?

As a Business Development Coach, I have seen a noticeable jump in requests for Team Coaching. I am overjoyed with this data. I congratulate all for taking this step.

With all of this I say, when standing on the stage accepting your Award, don’t let anyone give you the “hook” before you have had the opportunity to give credit to where credit is due.

Thank you to all of the individuals in my Master Mind group for contributing to this conversation. Thank you to all the leaders, teammates, and partnerships for taking a moment of pause and consideration to how you are showing up. Asking yourself, am I a “lifter”?

Being humble does not always come from silence.

Now, cue the music….

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