One of the most important ways in which you exemplify the excellence you expect from others, is by taking responsibility.
You are human. Yup, you are. Neither more nor less than, which means that, like all humans, you make mistakes. Sometimes little ones, sometimes big ones, but being human guarantees that you will make mistakes.
The smartest, best thing you can do for your business is to let your employees know that you are taking responsibility for your errors in judgment, your faulty communications, your slip-ups, whatever they may be.
Think of the very public messes highly placed individuals have created for themselves and their companies over the past few years by refusing to take responsibility. By looking to blame someone else, something else, anything but stand up and say “I was responsible for that.”
Taking responsibility doesn’t mean wearing a hair shirt and flailing yourself. It means being accountable. It’s having enough self-confidence to say “Yes, I made a mistake and here’s how I intend to rectify the situation.”
People respect that! People will not forgive a cover-up, people resent those who finger-point and attach blame to others. But people will forgive and do their best to move forward with those who show themselves to be accountable and do their best to make the situation better.
You want your employees to take responsibility? Great. Show them how it’s done by your example, and they will follow your lead.