Leaders Accept Responsibility First

I once knew a senior executive who loved to project his failures on to others. Blaming others not supporting them and never solving problems was always his focus. As long as he had a victim, he was happy. And he always told everyone in the organization who he blamed. He ruined good careers of great people.

The reality was every single major business decision he made for over a decade was a disaster. It was his fault for demanding others do stupid stuff like sell products no one wants to buy and kill profitable product lines. He should never have been allowed into leadership.

Incompetence and arrogance are a deadly combination.

Leaders first fully examine themselves when something goes wrong. Where could I have done better? What should I have given the team that they needed? Did I remove obstacles and provide the right resources? Let me learn the lessons and supply solutions. Many times the mistake is at our level.

Lastly, leadership means the team gets the credit and we take the blame. Coaching in private and praise in public. Accountability for everyone but first it starts at the leadership level.


From the Teacher: Leadership Lessons with Dr. Saviak is a weekly column with the esteemed Joseph C. Saviak, Ph.D., J.D., M.A., M.S., Management Consulting & Leadership Training.

Featured Image: Truman Library


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