Everything is My Fault

Here’s the second rule of leadership: EVERYTHING IS MY FAULT.


Extreme Accountability

This is called Extreme Accountability and all level five leaders have this. I would dare say that this is probably the rarest of all leadership traits out there. And it’s so crucial to the success of whatever group that you’re leading. As the leader you are ultimately responsible for the welfare of all your of team. You are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the group. You are ultimately responsible for whether or not the group achieves it’s goals. You are responsible for everything. Period.

That’s intimidating. But if it’s also not exhilarating then I would challenge you as to whether you’re cut out for high-level leadership. Who wouldn’t want to have ultimate responsibility – where the buck truly does stop with me. That’s the sign of a level-five leader. Now, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t scare you to death – everyday. You wouldn’t be normal otherwise. But it also creates a sense of empowerment that sets you free to run and chase your dreams, goals and aspirations.

A great, “Everything is My Fault” leader is Dean. I’ve gotten to know and work with Dean here recently. He owns and runs a tree service company in Sarasota, FL. Dean is really the epitome of “Everything is My Fault” leadership. Because he is the owner of the company this would be expected. And that’s not always the case anyways. In fact, it’s usually not the case. However, the way Dean genuinely cares and takes responsibility for his team is terrific. And because of this he has earned their trust and loyalty. They work harder and longer. And most importantly, they treat Dean’s company as their own. All because he has created a culture of accountability through his own leadership.

So here’s the reality. As a leader, everyone is going to look to you as soon as anything goes wrong. So you may as well own it. Because it will be given to you. You see, most people who are not in leadership positions are not there because they lack the capacity. That’s not true at all. Many people have the intelligence, work ethic, etc. to be a leader. But what they lack is the desire to own the results. They are content to plug along in their role and just do their job. And let’s be clear, that’s to be applauded, respected and rewarded. But those people simply don’t want to be responsible for other peoples’ success or failures – much less the group.


So begin training your brain to think this way – EVERYTHING IS MY FAULT. When it goes sideways, just own it right then. Here’s what will start to happen when you do:

  1. You will begin to teach yourself that it’s okay to fail.
  2. You will see that the world doesn’t come to an end and people aren’t looking to hang you.
  3. People will notice that you stood up and they will respect you for it.
  4. You will begin to reset the culture in your group. People follow the leader. And if the leader owns it, then you will begin creating a culture of accountability. After all, you can’t ask someone else to do what you’re unwilling to do.
  5. Your bosses will notice. There is something incredibly attractive about a team member that takes responsibility for the success of the group, even when it really was his to take. Those are the types of people who get the promotions.


Thanks so much to our friends at Wave Cutter Charters for sponsoring this post!

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