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Majid Rahman

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why do people give leaders too much credit or blame for organizational outcomes?

This is a concept I am working on for a research project but would appreciate some feedback.

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    Aug 19 2011: Leadership isn’t about blaming others, but realizing any blame levied should rest solely upon the leader. The best leaders will only point the finger at one person – themselves. The truth of the matter is no victories are won by participating in the blame game. Blame doesn’t inspire, it breeds malcontent and discord. If trust is the cornerstone of leadership, then blame can only be viewed as the corrosive behavior that eats away at the foundation. Don’t be the “Teflon” leader who worries about what might stick – be the mature leader who takes the hit, deals with the issue, and moves forward with character. Lead – don’t blame…

    Real leaders won’t accept credit for success, but always claim responsibility for failure. In analyzing why some leaders struggle with blame shifting I’ve concluded it usually comes down to an overabundance of pride or a lack of courage. Excuses, rationalizations, and justifications will never serve as an adequate substitute for courage and humility. Those in leadership positions who talk rather than listen, and point fingers rather than take decisive action have simply failed to lead.
    • Aug 19 2011: Your statements take any idea of holding people (other than the leader) accountable out of the equation.

      Without holding followers accountable, a leader will never be successful. That leader must be held accountable as well. The success or failure of the group will be due to human error---failing to recognize and correct that error is a two way street.
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        Aug 19 2011: Hi Jason:

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would suggest there is a difference between accountability and responsibility. All people need to be accountable for their actions regardless of title or position. That said, the leader is ultimately responsible for everything that happens on their watch. Moreover, good leaders will use accountability as a development opportunity rather than an opportunity to blame. Perhaps semantics are in play here, but there are subtle distinctions between accountability, responsibility and blame that can have a not so subtle impact on organizational success.
        • Aug 19 2011: In this case, I hold semantics 100% responsible for the miscommunication and I agree with your views on the subject.

          If semantics were the leader, I would call for his/her replacement! :)

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