One of the biggest challenges every leader faces is personal responsibility. The organization holds you accountable for the results of your team, but as a leader you are also responsible to your team for:
• Creating a work environment in which team members actually want to work and can perform at their best.
• Ensuring they have the resources they need to do their jobs.
• Putting systems in place that produce excellent results and remove barriers to their success.
• Coaching and mentoring team members when their performance is not up to the expected standard.
• Developing the talent within the team so its performance continually improves.
When something goes wrong—when you don’t achieve a goal or someone makes a mistake—looking for a scapegoat doesn’t help. Problem solving works much better than assigning blame.
Ask the team:
• What can we learn from this situation?
• What are the opportunities that this situation creates?
• How can we improve our systems so this doesn’t happen again?
Taking responsibility for getting the problem solved, even when you didn’t create it, helps your team members see that mistakes can be an opportunity to learn how to improve performance. You will also be setting an example to your team members that you expect them to be responsible as well.
Keith Ayers President Integro Leadership Institute West Chester, Penn.