Leadership requires the discipline to claim responsibility when something goes wrong. It may be daunting, but it’s necessary—it propels those affected by the problem from confusion to solution, enabling the right actions to be taken. Concerns about saving face, job security, and/or institutional liability are no foundation for leadership. In fact, the longer you delay, the more collateral damage you will do. The next time you preside over a blow up, ignore the voices (yours or others) that would cause you to hesitate … swallow hard, and take responsibility as a leader.
Here’s a start:
- What typically stands in the way of you taking responsibility for an error or failure?
- Do you find yourself delaying due to the desire or instinct to save face, maintain job security, and/or avoid institutional liability?
- What are the longer-term impacts of delaying doing what you know to be right, in order to do what’s expedient in the short term?
Based on client experiences / lessons learned, our weekly LeaderTips have been offering self-coaching themes and topics of interest to leaders since 2004. They are often published in BusinessWeek Online, sent weekly to our clients, and hundreds of other corporate leaders worldwide. I invite you to forward them to others, who are also welcome to subscribe using the link below. Note that over 100 of these tips appear in my book, Beyond Effective: Practices in Self-aware Leadership. Click here to subscribe to LeaderTips via email.