One of the things my father loved to say to our mother was, “We’re bringing up children not chickens. They have to learn to stand on their own two feet.” One of the most important lessons we were taught growing up was that only by learning to manage ourselves and take responsibility can we hope to provide leadership for THP, even in times of crisis.
How could we manage people or lead others if we cannot manage ourselves? In this context, taking responsibility does not mean taking control of a situation and issuing instructions to make ourselves feel good about our superior status or the power we wield over others. It means understanding our own leadership styles and how it affects other people.
Responsible leaders are those who are emotionally intelligent; in other words, they are aware of those around them and how their words and deeds impact others. Individuals who willingly take responsibility and accountability for their decisions are critical to a lasting organization.
It’s always easier to find excuses and far harder to embrace setbacks and mistakes with the same enthusiasm as triumphs and victories. And yet, true leadership means taking responsibility for failure as well as success. The two go hand in hand. Only when someone accepts that there’s no one else to blame, then and only then, can he or she develop a plan to succeed.
Instead of asking, “Who did this to me?” the question should be reframed as, “What did I do wrong?” As the saying goes, “It never gets easier, you get better.”
It is a difficult truth. But taking ownership means accepting that you are the source of the problem. You are the only person you can change or control. So, if there is a difficulty, own it. Never blame anyone else. Have confidence that by changing yourself, you can change the environment, too. Leaders who do this are far more likely to inspire the kind of loyalty and trust necessary for companies to succeed.
At THP, we try to empower all team members to act as if they are the owners of the enterprise, as well: to take responsibility for their successes and mistakes; to stay authentic and retain their integrity. If they stay true to what they believe and are open about what is working or not working, then they can successfully address problems, drive results, and improve performance. To learn more, check out my website today!