I think it’s safe to say that most, likely all, successful people accept full responsibility for their actions and decisions. So then do Strong Authentic Leaders.
Weak leaders tend to play the blame game. They look for someone else to dump responsibility on when things go wrong. Or they make excuses. My favorite is the combo responsibility dump/excuse of miscommunication. The leader communicated well, the person on the receiving end wasn’t bright enough to understand.
That “combo” covers both bases. The leader has no responsibility for the mistake and the blame is firmly shifted away from the leader, except it really isn’t.
Just a side note here…Authentic Leaders accept 100% responsibility for all communication. They know it is their responsibility to make certain the other person completely understood what was said.
Not accepting responsibility for your actions and decisions leads to an entire set of consequences, whether you’re a leader or not.
The first, and I think the most serious, is an exaggerated sense of self. If you believe your excuses it makes it difficult to build relationships with others. You are seen as less trustworthy. You likely become more critical of other people. Your feelings of infallibility increases your expectations of others. You become unrealistic, intolerant, and demanding.
Your attitude becomes a repellent to other people making it nearly impossible to lead. You may not realize it at first and weak leaders may never realize it, but you’re not fun to be around. All because you can’t, or won’t, accept responsibility for your actions and decisions.
The most common reason for not accepting responsibility is a sense of insecurity. People, especially weak leaders think admitting to a mistake or a poor decision makes them look weak. In reality, having the courage to admit mistakes gives the appearance of strength to a leader’s followers.
Strong Authentic Leaders see accepting responsibility as a measure of their self-worth. Their strength and self-confidence allows them to do something weak leaders can’t do…learn from their mistakes.
Ask yourself when was the last time you may have fallen short as a leader by placing blame for your actions on someone else. Ask yourself why you did that. Be honest with yourself. That’s the first step in growing your self-confidence to a level where you’re comfortable owning your actions and decisions.
If you struggle with accepting responsibility then start paying attention to a leader you respect. You’ll likely see them do it on a regular basis. If you want to move from the weak side of leadership to the strong side do what they do.
You may not see a difference in yourself right away but you’ll see a difference in how people respond to you. They may even start acting as if you’re a leader!