In a nail-biting conclusion to the WEFA EURO 2020 last Sunday, England lost the final match based on missed kicks in the penalty shootout. Immediately those members of the team were criticized. The coach stepped in and took full responsibility.
This is a powerful lesson for leaders. How many times have things not worked out for your team? Who was to blame? In this case, Gareth Southgate, the Three Lions’ coach, defended his team and said responsibility “totally rests” with him as he was the one who decided which 5 players were going to take the kicks on the basis of training.
Research shows that leaders who accept full responsibility for the performance of the work unit were more likely to be viewed as highly effective and ready for promotion.
This does not mean you don’t seek input from the team. The bigger the decision, the more voices there are that need to be heard. However, when a decision is made, take responsibility for the outcome. The Blame Game is an ugly place to play that destroys trust, ruptures team dynamics and erodes performance.
As the late Peter Drucker wrote, “Management has no power. Management has only responsibility.”
Do you take responsibility for your decisions and the performance of your team?