File this under 'teeny tiny little things that may or may not make a huge giant difference'.
Stephen Anderson has a great simple post on the semantics of collaboration. He points out what could possibly be the difference between cooperative, successful teamwork and destructive, defensive anti-teamwork.
Okay, so words are words. We speak them without thinking quite frequently. But the impact here is really in the intent behind the words.
We've all worked with co-workers or classmates who had one heck of a time actually contributing, but zero problem accepting all the glory. Yeah, those dudes. And we've all probably bitten our tongues during a presentation or review session – completely ready to whack the offending non-contributor on the head with a handy textbook for being such a lame-o.
One of the hardest lessons for me to embrace (although I've always understood it, but accepting it is a bear) is that for much of life — in school, work and personal projects — it's less about the WHO, it's more about the SUCCESS/AWESOMENESS.
I want to succeed and I'm not going to let anyone get in my way of success. Stuck working with me on a project? We'll get it done together and giggle the whole time, but if you slow me down because you're not pulling your weight I'll make it happen with or without you.
Maybe that's one of the reasons that I love Social Media so much. Even though much of the Blogosphere is an echo chamber (hello?? like this post right? ), the Community is pretty darn good at weeding out the folks who take credit for ideas/work that aren't their own. The job gets done, the knowledge is transferred and the link love is beautiful.