Retired Captain Mike Lambert posts a thought-provoking entry every morning on his blog, “I Like the Cut of His Jib.” These posts typically deal with press reports about leadership issues, quotes from great leaders, or content from other writers. His 9 October entry was uncharacteristically his own creation. That post was a simple yet reflective list of attributes common to effective leaders, and included the statement that leaders try to “fix the problem and not the blame.”
The concept of personal accountability was best stated by President Harry S. Truman, famous for saying “the buck stops here.” We need to regain that attitude and ensure it is part of our culture. In Everyday Leader Heroes, I wrote about the leadership trait of being humble. That discussion included the statement “arrogant leaders are less likely to take full responsibility and more likely to justify their actions. Humble leaders take responsibility, face their failings, and take corrective actions.” Taking responsibility for one’s actions, and also those of subordinates, is why leadership is such a challenge and requires so much commitment.