Leadership is lonely. It’s not for everyone. Most people want that leadership position because of the added benefits of authority, bigger salary and recognition. Let me tell that you have no business leading if you’re want to be a leader for these reasons. Why? Because leadership isn’t about you, it’s about others.
And you know what? That’s not the hardest pill to swallow for leaders. It’s this: it’s all on you if employees aren’t performing; it’s your fault.
The overall performance of the organizations is the responsibility of the leader, and the work is done by the people in the organization. Thus, leaders must work with their people to accomplish the organizations objectives and goals. Systems and processes enable organizations to perform well, but it’s the people stupid.
As a leader, you have to understand what employees need to be able to perform exceptionally well. Skills / ability, motivation, organization; every leader can influence these.
There are no bad teams, only bad leaders
Leaders own the success of their organization. Ex-NAVY Seal Jocko Willink wrote a book called Extreme Ownership that’s about the concept of owning success from the perspective of war; but has some business lessons in there too.
The best teams are constantly looking to improve, add capability and raise standards. It begins with the individual and extends to each of the team members until it becomes the culture, the new standard.
When it comes to standards, as a leader, it’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate. By setting expectations, if poor performance is accepted and no one is held accountable (if there are no consequences), that poor performance becomes the new standard. Therefore, leaders must enforce the new standard.
Whether your team is successful or not is up to you; the leader. Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to do it and win. As a leader, the first thing you need to do to improve your team’s performance is to train, develop and support them. Second, you must remove obstacles to progress; your progress depends of it. If you cannot remove the obstacles, you become the obstacle.
In any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader must own everything in his world. There is no one else to blame. The leader must recognize mistakes and admit failures, take ownership of them and develop a plan to win. The best leaders don’t just take responsibility for their work. They take extreme ownership of everything that impacts their mission.
When subordinates aren’t doing what they should, leaders can’t blame them. They must first look at themselves in the mirror. The leader has full responsibility for explaining the strategic mission, developing the tactics, and securing the training and resources to enable the team to execute properly and successfully. If one person on the team is not performing at the level required for the team to be successful, the leader must train and mentor that underperformer. And if that person continues to underperform, it is the responsibility of the leader to remove that person from the team.
Bottom line: In any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader must own everything in his world. There is no one else to blame.