The EMS Dashboard Confessional is proud to announce that we have been awarded the Trademark for our logo and name!
This next Confessional story illustrates issues of delegation, and of taking personal responsibility.
I remember a time when I was first promoted to a supervisor in my agency when, of course, I received the lack of appropriate managerial training. I was in charge of the daily shift, as well as supplies for the department. I delegated the task of taking inventory in the supply closet to one of the people on my team, and gave them full reign to decide how much needed to be ordered and what our par levels should be. They had to give me the orders for processing, but they were able to decide what to order.
There was a week that the inventory was done, and I was given the order sheet, but the order didn’t make it past me, so we started running low on supplies. Of course, the Assistant Chief came down on me for the low inventory, and not knowing what else to do, I passed the blame further down the chain. As you can expect, this caused a rift on my shift, and a lack of trust from my team. It was well deserved.
I can’t help but feel that the first level of management training should be a class called “The Buck Stops Here”. I learned a valuable lesson in accountability, and integrity very early on, and with my first mistake as a manager.
This story illustrates two common mistakes we make in leadership. First is “fire and forget” – we are happy to delegate responsibility for tasks to other people, especially undesirable tasks! But once it’s off our proverbial plate, we often forget to follow up. The buck does stop with the person who ultimately owns the job, and you should not forget that. Personally, I find that a task manager program helps me stay on point for following up with assignments to make sure things are being done, and meeting deadlines.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, is the issue of passing on blame. One of the hardest things that a leader can do is admit publicly that he or she was wrong, and it’s very common unfortunately to avoid doing that by deflecting. In the end, not only does this not get the job done, and hinder your personal growth as a leader, but it destroys your relationship with the person who got the blame pushed onto them. Sure, they failed to do the assigned task, but this is not their failure to shoulder alone.
You can stand next to that person and take personal responsibility for your lack of diligence, and together own what happened and find a solution. Or you can push it off on them, and see what happens. Not only will you develop a reputation as a boss who does not have their people’s backs, but the next time something goes wrong, you can be sure that they will be there to push you under the proverbial bus!
Use the link here to tell us about a decision or action that you wish you had handled differently.