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…the buck stops here…no…here…no…over here…

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Recent events have uncovered an interesting question. When something goes wrong – how does a team respond post-recovery in terms of accountability? Some say that the member of the team is held accountable in some fashion for the mistake, others believe that its their leadership that is held accountable. Still others claim that these actions detract from the purpose of the team concept and ethos, celebrating successes and failures together.

This is a bit of a slippery slope, of course depending on the nature of the error and its impacts. How does a leader hold his team accountable, and in turn, how is that leader held accountable in a fashion that does not stifle initiative, innovation and thoughtful risk-taking?

Ultimately, it boils down to corporate culture, the nature of the mistake as well as over all team cohesion. I am not talking about repetitive mistakes that would have another, less pleasant avenue for remediation – but mistakes every now and again from an otherwise high-performing team. This is one of those delicate balancing acts that leader of people needs to come to terms with early on, as it will chart the path for how team members’ achievements and misses are perceived within the team, organization and company.

How do you lead when things go south?

…make wise choices,


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