From my 13th right up to my 21st birthday there was one word that my dad always repeated. I hated the “speeches” but they were true. They were not only true in one area of life but applies across the board. One word that my dad always repeated and spoke about was… #drum roll#: RESPONSIBILITY. That “R” word. Now I understand his lessons much much better…
Leadership not only points direction but also gives character to an enterprise. Leadership may seem ‘over-glorified’ or ‘over-blamed’ depending on the context. Either way, it is the cost of leadership. There can be no leadership without responsibility. Leadership has responsibility in guarding the best interests of the cause and making vision a reality.
The flip side of the coin, when it comes to responsibility, is that leaders must own the failure of their enterprise and or the entities within it, as their own. Leaders that cannot take responsibility for the failure of those they lead do not deserve to be leaders. Pointing fingers at those you lead as reasons for the failure of your enterprise is an acknowledgement of your failure to lead.
There can be no leadership without responsibility [Tweet this]
If you take credit for success, you must take credit for failure as well. No responsible leader can disassociate herself with the failure of their enterprise. You are responsible. Leader, the reason you get blamed is simple: you are the leader. Failure to take responsibility is synonymous with immaturity.
Immature and insecure leaders can never take responsibility for their failures and the subsequent failures of their enterprises. Show me a leader that takes responsibility for his enterprise’s failure to meet the needs of those it serves and I’ll show you a mature leader. Immature leaders somehow feel they need to be infallible. Insecure leaders will always push the blame to other people or systems. Systems, which, by the way, they are supposed to be overseeing. And yes, Responsible for.
Responsibility also means you make right where you, as a leader have gone wrong [Tweet this]
It means making right what you enterprise has missed out on. Responsibility is more that acknowledging shortcomings as an enterprise or leadership, it is about taking action to make right. Apologies are only the first step when we mess up as leaders. The next and most necessary step is ensuring we have made right where we need to.
Think about this: the greater the leader the greater the responsibility. You cannot separate leadership from responsibility and responsibility from leadership. If you’re serving in a leadership role, I challenge you, together with me, evaluate how truly responsible you are. If you feel ready for greater responsibility in your leadership, ask yourself if you are ready for increased responsibility.