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It's All Your Fault

One of the most difficult leadership lessons to learn is that anything and everything that happens on your team is your responsibility. All of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Do you have an employee who struggles with time management and deadlines? Your responsibility. Did you just complete a fantastic project that highlighted your department’s proficiency? Your responsibility. Does your team struggle with trusting each other to pull their own weight? Your responsibility.


“Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses.”   – John C. Maxwell


As a Leader, you must take ownership of both the positive and negative actions and assignments that result from your group individually and collectively. Certainly, you can’t force someone to behave in a particular way. What you can do is provide complimentary and critical feedback to encourage the outcome that you want. If the employee’s performance isn’t up to par, you are responsible for deciding next steps. Nothing will kill the morale of a team quicker than a Leader who tolerates a bad employee. Your responsibility.


“Leadership is not a license to do less. Leadership is a responsibility to do more.”   – Simon Sinek


When you move into a position of authority, your title isn’t the only thing that changes. While some of your duties may shift to other employees, your elevated role requires that you take on the additional obligations related to serving your team. You must provide for them – coach, counsel, discipline, encourage, listen, guide, and motivate – and you must celebrate their successes and take ownership of their failures.


“You lose the right to blame others for a problem in your department when you are a manager and leader. You are the person responsible for everything that happens in your department.”   – David Cottrell


Realizing that excuses simply don’t matter can be a tough pill to swallow. The positive is that taking ownership means that you have complete control over the environment you wish to create. You can take the necessary actions to build the framework for an effective team. You can determine strategy, make the most of strong skills, assign tasks according to ability, and take action to improve performance. When all goes right, you get the credit. When something falls short, you get the blame. You acknowledge achievements and learn from losses. Either way, your team, your responsibility. How you choose to carry that weight is up to you.

woman carrying world on her shoulders


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