The news is filled with examples of senior executives and politicians who want a position at the top but are too cowardly to accept the ultimate responsibility that goes with such a position. It is always someone else’s fault. They never had any idea what was going on…even if the person doing it was themself.
You know the response. They make something up in defense and expect us to believe it in spite of evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately it works all too often leading to more problems in the future and an even greater disaster than the original problem. After all, each time such a person is let off without penalty their belief in their infallability just builds and builds.
This is particularly true if they haven’t followed the advice offered in the last post: Warren Buffet’s Key To Success? Criticism. If they are insulated by sycophants telling them they can do no wrong, that each and every thing they do is the best thing ever. The ego grows while the ability to distinguish what is actually the best thing to do diminishes. It’s hard to tell which moves faster, ego growth or judgement diminishment.
Thinking about this got me pondering
the famous sign on President Truman’s desk:
What has happened since Truman’s times
that makes it so difficult for leaders to accept responsibility?
Whether accepting it or not, leaders set the culture, the tone, and the ethical basis of the entire organization they lead. If the person or people at the top won’t take accountability for what the organization does, whay should anyone else accept accountability for their mistakes? If obfuscation if not outright lies by the leader are the response to unfortunate events, is it any wonder that everyone else is comfortable misleading others about what really occurred?
If those at the top and the organization as a whole are hiding money overseas to avoid taxes and using corporate resources as if they were their own, why should an employee worry about falsifying an expense report or adding a few extra hours to their time sheets?
You really are accountable for all that happens. Like it or not, The Buck Stops At You.