Adult and children leaders take responsibility

word of month character

We have talked about making decisions and and choosing what we believe is the best thing to do or say either personally or for the team we are leading.  But sometimes leaders make mistakes so how do leaders handle that?  Leaders take “responsibility”.   If they make a mistake real leaders do not start pointing the finger and blaming others.  They admit when they are wrong, apologize as is needed and then try to make things right.  In other words they “fix it’.  

It is very easy to get caught up in the moment when we have made a mistake and start pointing fingers.  But when we begin blaming others we really start diminishing the strength of the team or at the very least of those around us.  If we are a leader we would be best to follow the advice of Peter Drucker who said:  “The leaders who work most effectively…never say ‘I’…They don’t think ‘I’. They think ‘we’; they think ‘team’…They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”

How does taking responsibility impact people around us?  It creates a trust in you as a leader, it allows others to feel comfortable in risk taking and most important they know that the leader will share the success of the team with crediting everyone.  With that sort of trust others in the group are willing to take responsibility for any mistakes they make also.  I am reminded of the thing my father told me when I was young.  He told me that when we point a finger at others, we have to remember that we have 3 other fingers pointing back at us.  Blaming others accomplishes nothing and fixes nothing.

Making good choices and taking responsibility for our work and what we say and do builds great teams.  As I tell all of our students, “The most important team we are on is our family.”  So do you take your jobs, chores, and work you do seriously?  Are you responsible to get things done?  Do you show you are responsible for the mistakes you make?

Teamwork equals success

word of month character

teamworkAll of us have been on good and bad teams. When we are on a good team we can really feel the spirit of cooperation, there are individuals with good attitudes and the character of the individuals create a winning attitude. Even if it is not a sports team, the attitude is about getting the job done while making the best of the situation – maybe even having fun. Not all great teams win all of the time. But one thing that all great teams and teammates do is play fair and divide the tasks fairly, so that all the responsibility does not fall on any one person. When things are going well for the team, it is not surprising that they are successful in the task at hand. Sometimes though the team is just not working. One thing I have learned in teaching is that when things are not going as you would like to see, the first place to look is at your self. If you are on a team and it just is not working out – we may want to look first at ourselves and see if we are being a good teammate. Examine our attitude, the responsibilities we have taken from the leader and examine what we can do become a successful team. It may require that we have a team meeting and refocus on the goals of the team, making sure everyone is on board. What can we do to contribute to the success of the team? Using “I” messages is a good way of expressing our concerns without pointing fingers or making others feel rejected. “I need help in this matter or that” is a good way of being sure everyone on the team knows how they can be more effective teammates. If you have been on a good team or bad tell us about it here. What did you do to have the best experience possible?