Now that the metaphoric dust has settled and we are nearly 2 months into the new year, I had found myself reflecting on the management/leadership changes I’ve made from 2010 to 2011. Asking myself…”Are they working? Did I do the right thing? Did I over-react? Am I re-acting enough?”.
In speaking with many of my peers in the industry, most felt as though 2010 would never end. A handful thrived but most just survived. Although my business had a successful year, I’m never perfectly satisfied with outcomes and strive to get better.
That said, I made it a point to reach out to business owners all over the country and get their opinions. Although the economy definitely had negative impacts on corporate results, I was disappointed at how many leaders used it as a “crutch”, or an “excuse”. I was taken back by the number of year-end conversations that focused on their knowing that managing the processes was the key to success, but they found themselves trapped by the pressures and urgencies that did nothing to help their business improve, adapt and respond. Not surprisingly, those managers that I spoke with who struggled all stated that “they were anxious for 2010 to end and looking forward to a fresh start in 2011” while those that succeeded made very little mention of moments in time and recalibration but continued emphasis on “internal improvements” and specifically “personal accountability”.
The common theme of accountability was so prevalent amongst the successful leaders I could not help but notice. There was no “finger pointing”, there was no blame directed at others and no excuses only confidence, clear direction and a pure demonstration of leadership. I would suggest every business owner/leader do the same. Ask themselves…”Am I really leading my people by being the first to take responsibility for my own actions/decisions and mistakes? Am I willing to take all the risks of leading by example?" 2011 is here, the dust has settled, most economic indicators are starting to reflect positively so here is every manager's opportunity to be accountable as there will be nothing to blame this time next year.