Blog Post #8
As a leader, you must take responsibility for everything. This includes everything that is done and everything that is not done. Taking more responsibility can both improve relationships with your boss, and your employees. Evasion of responsibility or constantly giving excuses only serves to make you look unreliable and untrustworthy.
When I was a teenager I evaded responsibility often. My parents, teachers, friends, coaches, and mentors all dealt with a constant stream of excuses. This trend continued until I went to basic training. This is when I learned that bosses and people, in general, they want someone to take responsibility. They want the task or whatever was not done to be completed, but most importantly they do not want to hear excuses.
When I was in basic training, my battle buddy (The guy assigned to watch my back) improperly cleaned his weapon. The Drill Sgt was furious. My battle(slang) was hurt from training the previous day. I knew he was not going to be able to do the push-ups and running the Drill Sgt most likely had planned.
I was the second most fit person in my platoon. I knew the workout would not be that bad for me so I told the Drill Sgt it was my weapon. The Drill Sgt obviously knew that this was not my weapon but he had to make an example of someone. When I came back from the corrective action I discovered that my actions had impressed my platoon.
I had gained respect for taking responsibility. Once I became the head trainee for my platoon I continue practicing this leadership technique. When my subordinates failed I took responsibility and the punishment. This encouraged my platoon to work harder not to fail because they did not want me to get in trouble and it encouraged my subordinates to take more responsibility. It also impressed the Drill Sgts and in turn, they trusted me more.
So I encourage you to attempt to do something similar. Take responsibility do not give excuses, give results. If you drop the ball and forget to do something do not give them a list of excuses. They do not want to hear it, just say you are sorry and that you will get on it immediately. There are exceptions if there was a death or injury that is an acceptable reason to provide. What do you think about taking responsibility? Do you have any similar experiences? Do you disagree with anything I said? Please comment respectfully. If you have any friends or family that may be interested in this content, please refer them to this site.