My high school football coach would “remind us” of the importance of accountability with that phrase “excuses are for losers..” when we offered up reasons for why we were not executing our assignments during practice. At times it was frustrating to hear but I came to recognize that he cared about us and wanted us to succeed. That was why he wanted us to take accountability for our actions. As leaders we also need to accept and embrace our accountability for decision-making. Think about the leaders you most admire, it is clear that they know that the “buck stops with them.”
Over the next month we will be exploring different ways you can make effective decisions, how to involve and engage your people in decision-making, and the importance of communicating and supporting decisions after they are made. How you do that directly affects the relationships and trust you build with your team, your effectiveness as a manager and your ability to drive innovation. Before any of that can happen, however, true leadership demands the willingness to actually make the tough decisions and to accept the consequences of those decisions. As Coach McKay, not so gently, reminded me years ago, make sure you act in a way that makes it clear to your team that “the buck stops with you,” even in the tough times.