This is what remains when we are confronted with failure. We can blame shift, or design elaborate excuses. This just drags the failure along with us.

The only way to move forward is to own up. For leaders, this is even more complicated. Leaders can delegate responsibility, but never accountability. The final outcome is always the leader’s fault. She cannot blame the subordinate who did not contribute or failed in his function. He cannot sidestep the result and write it off to a ‘system’.

Leadership is where the buck stops. The sooner we realise this, the sooner we discover that, for leadership, there is no way out. There is only through. There is only owning up to the failure.

Doing so is the first step in the direction of recovery. Now the big work begins. We must seek out the root cause, enforce accountability and identify systemic shortcomings.

This does not happen when we blame someone else.


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