Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Leadership Responsibility Spectrum 161011

As a general rule, we as a society hold our leaders accountable. 

We hold them accountable for what happens during the time they were in charge.  We hold them accountable for what their organization does or doesn't do.  We hold them accountable for what their members do or don't do.

We simply hold our leaders accountable.

So where does personal accountability come in?  At what point does one start getting held accountable for their own actions? 

True Story: Two men are traveling from New York City to Jacksonville, North Carolina.  The driver starts getting sleepy, so he asks the passenger to drive.  About 30 minutes later, a state trooper pulls them over for speeding.  Who should be issued the ticket? 

The person driving the car at the time; and, he did. 

So the two men finally arrive in Jacksonville, NC.  The next day they go to work on Camp Lejeune (the one who got the ticket is a Lance Corporal and the one who was sleeping next to him was a Corporal, a non-commissioned officer, one rank higher than the Lance Corporal).  Who did the command, and by extension the Marine Corps, hold responsible for the speeding ticket. 

The sleeping Corporal got reduced in rank and fined two half-months’ pay.  The commander held the Corporal responsible for allowing the Lance Corporal to speed. 

So instead of just pushing through while tired and risking both of their lives, the Corporal has the licensed driver and rested Lance Corporal drive.  The Lance Corporal makes the decision to speed and the Corporal is punished by the Marine Corps. 

The Corporal was a higher rank, the leader of the Lance Corporal, and held accountable for his followers actions. 

This true story is just an example the Marine Corps assigning responsibility of a follower or unit’s actions on its leader.  This happens throughout our society.

The U.S. economy is always blamed on or credited to the president at the time… who often has very little to do with it.  Should they get the blame/credit even though they have little to do with the economy?  The economy has far more to do with the Fed, commodity prices, employment opportunities… even congress. 

Familial leaders seem to get blamed or credited for their kid’s doings, successes, failures… even years after they are out on their own.  Should they? 

At what point do we adults start acting like adults?  At what point do individuals start owning their actions and being held accountable for what they do?

On the other hand, at what point do some of us STOP taking responsibility for the actions of other individuals? 

Just because I am successful in my Marine Corps career doesn’t mean I should feel guilty because others won’t or don’t succeed.  Maybe, just maybe, their success or failure is because of, wait for it, THEM. 

Maybe the speeder should get the ticket; maybe the adult kid should get credit or blame for how they turn out; maybe the leader should treat adults like adults and the follower should identify their own short-comings, own them, and fix them like an adult. 

I think some things should be blamed on/credited to leaders.  Other things should not. 

More to follow….

Semper Fi,

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