As a leader, as a manager , you are always responsible. This principle is incredibly important for good management. In a previous job, i worked with someone who was always blaming somebody else for his business unit problems. If a store did not look very good, he would blame his store manager. Then he would complain about his area manager for not being tough enough on the manager. Then he would blame HR for not providing good enough managers.
We were talking about it one day, and i finally said to him ” You are the leader! How can you blame everybody else for everything that goes wrong in your business? You are the one in charge! You are responsible. If you don’t think that these people know what they are doing, then you should fire them – but if they are there, because you trust and value them, than it is up-to you to make sure that they execute their responsibilities properly.”
Unfortunately, in my career both as a business leader and as a HR Leader, I see this habit in companies and leaders more than i can count. People constantly try to blame subordinates. I think that blaming subordinates is rather silly. Either you as the leader are in charge or you are not.
If you are the person who makes the final decisions, and you are the person who appoints other people, then in the end you are responsible.
In our retail business, i always told Operations managers, that store managers ultimately reported to us , so we must take responsibility.
Leaders need to learn to accept responsibility
One of the best lessons that my father taught me about business is that people make mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes, and the people in charge must be in charge and take responsibility for failure, even taking responsibility for the failure to supervise somebody else – so there really is no excuse.
I have found that managers and leaders who are not very good, always look for who made the mistake. They will go on a witch-hunt to find a culprit.
And that is really irrelevant.
If a mistake has been made, the responsibility for it must be assumed at the management level, then the situation should be moved forward to understand why the mistake was made in order to avoid the same mistake being made twice.
As a leader you need to stop blaming everybody else. The corollary is that you should start expecting performance from your people. You need them to understand that if they are in charge , they they are in charge. They are responsible for producing the results and for making sure everything gets done properly.