Not all of us have the same propensity towards success and failure. Some of us take failures quite well, others not so much. But for leaders, it is essential to take failures in their stride just as well as they would do to successes. However, all leaders are not the same, hence, not all leaders have the same outlook towards failures. When failures strike, and it always does, leaders must demonstrate the will and fortitude to get past those failures while taking the team along with them to the other side. Unfortunately, far too many leaders engage in passing the buck to avoid scrutiny on themselves. Let’s take a look at how that impacts their leadership position and the future prospects of their career.
Never pass the buck
If you’ve been entrusted with a leadership role, never, ever pass the blame on anyone else. Accept the challenges that come your way as they are and work towards the solution. It is an incredibly important leadership quality, and if you falter at that, your leadership position is irreparably undermined.
Every leader is answerable to other leaders higher up in the hierarchy. The sign of a true leader is that other senior leaders can put their trust in him. That is possible only when the said leader accepts complete responsibility of any results produced by his team. In their book, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALSs Lead and Win, former US Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin describe this as ‘extreme ownership by leaders’.
Senior leadership is always well aware of problems. They need solutions to those problems, and not count the shortcomings of preceding leaders. Effective leaders who make a lasting impact never mention their predecessors, unless they must point out something good done by them.
Time-tested lessons for leaders
Taking responsibility is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are three time-tested lessons for leaders to help them achieve that.
If you are constantly worried about protecting yourself because your ego would not allow you to take the fall, then you’re doing it wrong. Not only would you lose the trust of your team, but also of your senior leadership, effectively telling them that you are unsuitable to lead in your present role.
Always back your team
Never leave your team hanging in the balance, support them at each step of the way. When leaders instill the feeling of security among their team, they “create an environment where everyone has the capacity to do remarkable things.” Empower them by showing them how things are done, and delegate that work to them so that they may learn valuable business lessons that are not taught in the classrooms.
Simplify everything and focus
Leave any complications at the door and simplify everything for your team so that they may have an opportunity to focus and deliver quicker results. If they lose focus on priorities and get overwhelmed by distractions and complications, you lose as a leader.
Leaders are responsible for fixing problems and delivering results. They have to create a vision for their team to follow. In order to do so, they must first hold themselves accountable as leaders of the team, and point out any shortcomings to themselves before anyone else does. Passing the buck never allows that to happen, and that’s why it is not desirable for leaders at any stage.