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“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
~ George Burns
I’m always fascinated by how people around me react when the unexpected happens, particularly when the outcome is less than desired. At home, in the community or on the job, the degree to which we assume responsibility for our actions and the resulting outcomes is often a sign of how strong a leader we are.
Consider these scenarios:
• You’ve borrowed a friend’s car and one of your passengers accidentally damages one of the seats.
• You commit to volunteering at an event and, because of heavy traffic, you show up late.
• You’re managing a project and one of your team members misses an important deadline.
Would you accept responsibility for any of these outcomes? Or would you blame the outcome on your passenger, the traffic or your team member?
Strong leaders take responsibility for their own actions and those of others under their supervision. They accept responsibility for taking actions to mitigate the impact of outside events, like heavy traffic, on their outcomes. And they avoid deflecting blame on someone else.
Are you a strong leader? Or a snowflake in an avalanche?