Too often I have seen leaders lament the poor execution of their team, or the lack of skills or knowledge in a key member of their staff. In short, when things don’t go well, they blame others.
The reality is that, as a leader, you need to own the team’s lack of success. As the leader, you are in charge of shaping and crafting the character and nature of the team. You are responsible for assessing who has what skills and providing coaching to shore up deficiencies. You are the only person who can distribute responsibilities based on the problem at hand the skills you see in people. When it doesn’t go like you wanted, it is only helpful if you look in the mirror and ask how you fell short as a leader.
Conversely, when the team is successful, you need to ensure the credit goes to the team members who made it happen. Recognizing the people who stepped up, developed a new skill, performed without fault, and took a risk that paid off is the behavior of a true leader.
One of the first bubbles to be burst with new leaders is the notion that being a leader means the spotlight and accolades. On the contrary, the good leader takes public blame and gives public credit. Blaming your team members is a surefire way to short circuit individual growth and team trust.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.