The Defining Reason Leaders Fail

I want you to think about the last time you worked with someone who didn’t do their job well.

Were they always late?

Did they not not complete their work?

Were they sloppy?

If you were their boss (and maybe you were) would you fire them?

Whose fault is it?

Most people would say: “Look, if they can’t do the job I hired them for, that’s on them.”


Confused? Let me explain.

The difference between mediocre leaders and great leaders is one simple factor: ownership.

Who owns the project? Who owns the problem? Who owns the department?

The leader does–and by leader, I don’t always mean the person in charge.

It’s up to you to take ownership of what’s at hand.

Could you have been more kind?

Could you have better set them up for success?

Could you have listened to them instead of telling them what to do (or what not to do)?

No matter if you’re middle management, a barista at Starbucks, or a CEO of a Fortune 5 company . . .

You’re responsible for being your best everyday. You’re responsible for training those around you how to be their best. No one else is going to do this for you.

You’re the owner of your life. You’re the owner of the outcomes within that life. You’re the owner of your destiny.


What’s one thing that happened at work recently that you blamed someone for? Did they deserve it? How might you reframe that situation in your head to take responsibility as a leader?

Would love to hear your stories here.

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