Owning up to mistakes

I believe that when a team makes a mistake, the leader always has responsibility for it. However, I may not always readily admit my mistakes in front of my team because I want them to take ownership. In front of my boss, I will say that the fault is mine. But this is a side that my team might not see. And because people can only judge on what they see and hear, it appears that I am someone who pushes the blame to the team. In fact, someone left a comment asking me to “take a little more of the blame and lesser of the credit” in my recent peer appraisal. I agree with that, and I also think that everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I can’t help but question if the commenter can see the complete picture.

We often forget that a team affects a leader as much as a leader affects the team. In the past, I felt that there was very little accountability by leaders. Leaders did not have to pay so much attention to the people, and they just had to get things done. However, culture seems to be shifting, and I think it is good until it goes too much to the other side. We need to understand that organisations exist for a reason. We are not accountable only to the people in our organisation but also to the people we serve. And if you are in the public sector, you are, most importantly, accountable to the people.

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By ben@sgben.com

Hi, I am Benjamin. I am a Singaporean son, born and bred. I came from a modest background, just like most Singaporeans and went to mainstream schools like most middle-class Singaporeans. What makes me different is my unconventional choices and journey in life, giving me a different insight into life. I share my thoughts not because I think I am right but to be corrected if I am wrong. I am not too concerned about who is right but what is right. Drop me a PM or leave a message and I am happy to talk about anything!

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