Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Responsibilities of Leadership

One of the most important aspects of leadership is responsibility. When something goes wrong, a true leader is responsible even if the problem/mistake was someone else's fault. The leader steps up, takes responsibility and makes the necessary apologies and/or changes. This doesn't sit well with some people, but if you really want to be a leader -- you better own this idea. I'm not saying that the leader is the fall person for all mistakes, but the leader needs to be the one who leads. The captain of a ship doesn't ask for a storm, but dealing with storms is part of the job. Does a captain turn to the deckhand and say, "Darn you! You made another storm"? No, the captain accepts the fact of the storm and takes the necessary actions to ride it out. After the storm, the captain may know that a crew member needs to be punished, but that comes after taking responsibility. Pointing fingers is not the path of the leader; responsibility is. In addition to taking responsibility when something goes wrong, the leader should always give credit to others when things go right. Very rarely is the leader the only responsible party for great success; most endeavors are team efforts and the entire team should receive credit when success occurs. Acknowledging the efforts of others is the path of the leader. Taking at least a share of the blame and giving credit to others are not easy tasks, but they are important. If you aren't ready to do these two actions, you aren't ready to be a leader. This is something I have learned growing up thanks to the efforts of my parents, friends, teachers, and mentors. The last six months has only reaffirmed this knowledge.