Lessons in Management: Take Ownership

When you confront a problem you begin to solve it. -Rudy Giuliani

When you own a house, you end up paying for everything. You pay for the new roof you have to put on. You pay for the deck off the back. You pay for the swimming pool. And you pay when your foundation is cracked and needs to be sealed. You pay because you own.

I’ve found in management that passing the buck doesn’t work overly well. Respect is not earned when you don’t take responsibility as the manager. When your team falls abysmally short of expectations, guess what? It’s your fault. When your team implements a clear new strategy that is a win-win for everybody, guess what? You take the credit.

As a manager, you’re paid to get your team coordinated to get a job done. Leadership, though, requires that the job not only be done but that you be the buffer between your employees and your bosses. It’s your job to absorb fecal gravity. You do know what fecal gravity is, don’t you?

In my role, I talk to the various members of my team every day. I ask them what they need from me. How I can help them do their job. I listen to their expert opinions, ask questions and make decisions. Sometimes I get to take the credit, but sometimes I get to take the fecal gravity.