If you want to be a highly effective accountable leader, you must hold yourself accountable for both your actions and the outcomes that those actions produce.
When things go well, you take appropriate credit (and give credit to your team, of course). When things don’t go well, you take the blame. You’re the leader of the team and, therefore, everything ultimately falls on you.
The opposite of the accountable leader is the “victim” leader. The victim leader blames everyone and everything else for their failures. They refuse to believe that their actions could result in any problems and so they constantly blame their challenges on others. They may take credit for successes, but they don’t accept the blame for failure.
If you’re going to be a powerful, compelling leader, you must accept 100% responsibility for the outcomes of your actions. You must take decisive action to influence specific outcomes and then embrace those outcomes, whatever they may be.
Deep Patel puts it this way:
Effective leaders hold themselves accountable and take responsibility for their own mistakes—and they expect others to do the same. They can work within established procedures, and be productive and efficient in their decisions.
If you don’t hold yourself accountable as a leader, how can you expect to hold others accountable? If you aren’t willing to set a high bar for yourself, how can you set a high bar for those on your team?
The reality is that your followers will never rise higher than you. They will look to you and follow your example. If they see you constantly blaming others and refusing to be accountable, they’ll do the same thing.
Work hard to hold yourself accountable and your team will do the same.
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