I recently read this article on ConantLeadership blog: Why Taking Responsibility Is Always the Best Leadership Choice. This article makes a compelling argument: to build trust and consolidate leadership, you must take responsibility. A challenging situation, when the stakes are high, is the best moment for you to take ownership and show up as a leader.
Ask questions, gather facts, understand what created the situation. Be mindful! People are under a lot of stress. Model for them a leadership behaviour.
Consider four aspects when taking responsibility in challenging situations:
1. Make it about them
Don’t downplay the problem and don’t run away. People will lose trust. The next time something happens, they will not stand by you. Discuss solutions and possible sensitive situations so that they don’t escalate into crisis.
2. Celebrate the savviness of your people
Delegate tasks. Make your people feel you are finding a solution together. Most importantly: keep their spirits high.
3. Own it and fix it
Firstly, take responsibility. Then, identify those who contributed to this situation. Instead of placing blame, hold them accountable and help them solve the problem.
4. Look forward
Once a situation was dealt with, look into how you can create more value for your people and for the stakeholders.
For more, read the full article here.