As a leader, you have many leadership responsibilities. Those you lead also have many responsibilities. In many cases, however, their responsibilities are your leadership responsibilities delegated to them. As a leader, you need to own up to your leadership responsibilities.
Recently there was an article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Scandals Prompt Doubt About Honesty” written by Patrick O’Connor and Rebecca Ballhaus. The article said, “Recent controversies surrounding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other government agencies have sown doubts about the honesty of the Obama administration, but most people don’t hold the president personally responsible for the agency actions, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.”
The article explained that the results of a recent poll showed that 55% of respondents felt that there was a significant lack of honesty in the IRS. Those polled, however, did not feel the president was responsible for the dishonestly. “Americans at this point don’t hold the president personally responsible for any of the three major controversies that have dominated Washington since early May, the Journal/NBC poll found.”
When you are the leader, one of your leadership responsibilities is to make sure everything goes smoothly and there is no corruption under you. Without getting too political, this has not happened with President Obama. He has, however, remained unscathed in many people’s eyes even with the controversies and lack of control he has had within his administration.
Why Should You Take Your Leadership Responsibilities Seriously?
When you are in leadership, one way or another it’s always your fault. When things go well, you will get the credit. When things go bad, you will take the blame. There are many reasons to take your leadership responsibilities seriously. For this post, I will only go over the following two reasons because they are both very relevant right now.
Current Legal Environment
In today’s legal climate, there are additional leadership responsibilities that never existed before. Leaders are now held personally liable when things go wrong within their organization. They can be sent to jail when problems occur or information is not accurately reported. There are also other negative legal consequences that rest on the leader as a result of poor conduct within an organization.
Many leaders have been jailed in the last ten years because their organization failed to report an important finding, the leader shirked their leadership responsibilities, or some other major violation occurred.
Captain Francesco Schettino was captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that hit a reef off the coast of Italy in the Costa Concordia Disaster. “Schettino was arrested on preliminary charges of multiple manslaughter in connection with causing a shipwreck, failing to assist 300 passengers, and failing to be the last to leave the wreck.” He was also charged with two other legal violations. The shipwreck was not intentional, but he deviated from his prescribed course and standard protocol. As a result, Captain Schettino is being held responsible.
As a leader, one of your main leadership responsibilities is to maintain a strong public image for your organization. There are many things you can do to maintain a strong public image. Be honest in all you do. Maintain the integrity of those you lead, your organization, and yourself. Honesty and integrity enable you to maintain a strong public image for your organization.
Keeping yourself out of trouble is just as important as doing what is right. Justin Bieber, the world renown 19-year old pop singer, has a huge fan base and many endorsements. Recently, however, he ranted on Twitter which fired up many people. His rant lashed out against the media for comments he felt were untrue. Justin tweeted, “fake stories to sell papers i guess are part of the job. but im a good person. i know that. u cant tell me different. we know the truth” according to ABC News. This 10 minute rant could cost him and his brand tremendously. The website Hollywood Life reported that, “This could cause him to lose fans, endorsement deals and affect his album sales.” Justin Bieber’s 10 minute rant tarnished the public image he has worked years to create.
Go Forth And Take Your Leadership Responsibilities Seriously
When you are in leadership everyone is watching you whether you like it or not. People notice the good and bad that you do. Be alert and attentive so you don’t ruin your public image or give yourself legal troubles through poor conduct or bad decisions.
The current legal environment and your public image are just two of the many reasons to take your leadership responsibilities seriously. What are other reasons why you should take your leadership responsibilities seriously? What have you done to take your leadership responsibilities seriously? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!