I feel that assuming full responsibility is one of the most critical leadership qualities necessary to succeed in business. Your business will not succeed if the head does not accept full responsibility for his or her organization. Willingness to assume full responsibility is written in the #10 spot of Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich”, but that position has nothing to do with its importance. Napoleon Hill did not write his list in order of importance. The fastest way for a leader to be distrusted by his followers is never having their back and passing the blame to someone else. The foundation to build a successful business will crumple at the leader’s feet because his example of passing the buck will translate throughout his organization.
The leader is the one who has failed if his followers make mistakes and become incompetent. This is a tough pill to swallow for many people because we are so accustomed to being responsible for our own actions. This goes back to the fact that as a leader you better pick a very efficient staff. When the President of the United States administration fails no one looks at the Vice President. As the president it is his responsibility to be the impetus to getting his policies carried out to the letter. If he does not follow up and make sure, then he may only have one person to blame himself. The general public don’t look at the VP as a failure, unless he specifically did something that made him stand out as incompetent.
When I worked in the Restaurant Industry I had one such manager. I knew that he would never fall on the sword for any of us. If his supervisor visited, we automatically knew that if any thing was wrong one of us was getting blamed. He quickly put us under the bus, and did not accept responsibility for anything that went wrong. When business was striving, then it was his chest that puffed out the furthest. We never respected him as a true leader. His title was General Manager but as one of his assistant I would not go above and beyond for him. A leader must accept responsibility when things are perfect and also when things are not going well.
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