Willingness to assume full responsibility is written in the #10 spot of Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich”, but position has nothing to do with importance. Napoleon Hill did not write his list in order of importance. I feel that assuming full responsibility is one of the most critical leadership qualities necessary to succeed in business. The fastest way for a leader to be distrusted by his followers is never having their back and passing the blame to someone else. Your business will not succeed if the head does not accept full responsibility for his or her organization. The foundation to build a successful business will crumple at the leader’s feet because if he passes the “buck’ then everyone else will play the blame game also.
When I worked in the Restaurant Industry I had one such manager. I knew that he would never fall on the sword for any of us. If his supervisor came to the restaurant we automatically knew that if any thing was wrong one of us was getting blamed. He quickly put us under the bus, and did not accept responsibility for anything that went wrong. When business was striving, then it was his chest that puffed out the furthest. We never respected him as a true leader. His title was General Manager but as one of his assistant I would not go above and beyond for him. A leader must accept responsibility when things are perfect and also when things are not going well.
The leader is the one who has failed if his followers make mistakes and become incompetent. This is a tough pill to swallow for many people because we are so accustomed to being responsible for our own actions. This goes back to the fact that as a leader you better pick a very efficient staff. When the President of the United States administration fails no one looks at the Vice President. As the president it is his responsibility to make his policies are not carried out to the letter. If he does not follow up and make sure, then he may only have one person to blame himself. The general public don’t look at the VP as a failure, unless he specifically did something that made him stand out as incompetent.
The culmination of all the other attributes must be mastered to help a leader avoid going down as one of the worst in history because he does not accept full responsibility. He must have unwavering courage so when he makes a decision he stands behind them and only change when appropriate. A successful leader must be able to control himself emotional, physically and personally before he may be able to control others. His keen sense of justice must be impeccably and beyond reproach. He must have definiteness of plans and decisions indicated a good understanding of his goals and objectives. The habit of doing more than paid for is crucial to instill into his followers that he is a man or woman of the people. He also must master the traits of a pleasing personality. This leader must also have sympathy and understanding for his team. This leader must be a master of the detail, therefore not leaving any stone unturned in trying to achieve his objectives. The last thing is getting his team to cooperate and keep them on the same page as him.
I have discussed all these attributes articles in greater detail in previous articles. I will write about the final attribute cooperation in the next article.