When projects go wrong, it’s easy to point fingers and shirk accountability. But being a leader isn't about apportioning blame, it;s about advocacy for your team and if something has gone wrong, you're the one accountable - rise to the occasion and openly take responsibility.
- Own mistakes fully. When you clearly make a misstep, accept fault and apologize sincerely.
- Do not cover up failures. Be fully transparent internally about mistakes to foster trust.
- Apologize to affected folks. If a failure impacts customers, the team, IC's - apologize promptly and own it.
- Shield your team from blame. If a team member made an error, take the blame publicly while coaching them privately.
- Analyze causes honestly. Conduct thorough post mortems to understand failure points accurately.
- Criticize processes, not people. Attribute failures to ineffective processes rather than blaming individual team members.
- Learn from errors quickly. Identify key learnings and implement changes urgently to avoid repeat issues.
- Admit knowledge gaps. Reveal when limited expertise led to missteps and commit to learning.
- Review decisions candidly. Reconsider past decisions that appear flawed in hindsight without ego.
- Communicate resolutely. Discuss failures transparently while conveying certainty in preventing future recurrence.
Accountability requires courage but it also builds trust. Set the tone by taking ownership personally during difficult times rather than shifting blame.