Strategies Releases Tip Sheet on How Leaders Can Take Responsibilities for Their Actions

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Business consulting experts, Strategies, releases out five unique tactics on how leaders can take responsibilities for their actions

Neil Ducoff - Founder & CEO, Strategies

Neil Ducoff, Founder & CEO, Strategies

It’s hard to fire an otherwise good employee and it’s never easy to take someone’s job away.

Strategies, a leading national business management training and coaching company, has just released a new tip sheet on how leaders can take responsibilities for their actions.

“It was a classic situation,” states Strategies Founder & CEO, Neil Ducoff. “A coaching client asked me for advice regarding an issue with a team leader that had been using the company credit card for personal expenses. By the time the abuse of the card was discovered, the charge totals were quite sizable. There were repeated warnings when minor personal charges continued to show up on the monthly statements. The company has a ‘three strikes, you’re out’ rule, and this team leader had used them all.”

Here are five tactics to help leaders work through these tough decisions:

BAD CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES: It’s hard to fire an otherwise good employee and it’s never easy to take someone’s job away after a long-standing, working relationship. But this team leader’s choices and actions in the example above took his/her own job away. It’s about taking responsibility for one’s actions. Leaders are human beings and have every right to feel compassion for an individual that they have no choice but to fire. But in such situations, leaders must remember that the employee brought this upon him or herself. Leaders must learn to get it over with and move on.

EXPLANATIONS VS. EXCUSES: In business, mistakes happen and explanations are needed to determine the cause and to prevent repetition. But there is a fine line between an explanation and an excuse. An explanation can include ownership of the error. An excuse is almost always an attempt to deflect blame onto any place other than where it actually belongs.

ALL EYES ARE ON THE LEADER: There are countless examples of leaders tolerating intolerable behavior from one or more employees; lateness, bad attitudes, disrespect, missed deadlines, dress code violations, expense abuse, inappropriate behavior . . . the list goes on and on. The problem with tolerating intolerable behavior from certain individuals while holding everyone else accountable to the rules is that it creates a double standard. Double standards wreck company cultures in every conceivable way. It’s one thing to earn special privileges through performance and teamwork, but it’s something else to earn it through entitlement, indifference, or fear that a key employee will quit. Protecting the company culture is one of the most important duties of a leader.

ASK THE TOUGH QUESTION: Every leader must deal with individuals whose performances and behaviors are no longer acceptable. It doesn’t matter if the employee is in an entry-level position or top management – when unacceptable performance and behavior is allowed to continue, it contaminates the company’s culture. And when coaching, counseling, and repeated warnings prove ineffective, it’s time for the leader to objectively ask themselves this tough “yes or no” question: “Is there any indication that performance and behavior will improve?” If the answer is yes, communicate exactly what your expectations are and the timeline. If the answer is no, it’s time for the employee to find another opportunity.

IT’S ABOUT ACTIONS TOO: Company owners must be responsible for their actions too. Everything stated above applies not only to staff, but to owners, too. Too many owners justify their compromising behaviors and actions simply by saying, “It’s my company.” Yes, it IS their company and that’s every reason to stop being the one who’s getting in the way and harming its culture.

Being a no-compromise leader is all about being compassionate, fair, respectful, and trustworthy. It’s also about dealing with the tough stuff that comes with leading people and coaching them to achieve their full potential. When the behaviors and actions of a team member continually fall outside of what is tolerable for a company’s culture, it’s time to make the tough decisions and move on.

Sign up here to receive more leadership tips on how to grow your business from Neil Ducoff and Strategies in his weekly leadership email series, the Monday Morning Wake-Up.

About Strategies:
Neil Ducoff is the Founder and CEO of Strategies, a business management coaching, consulting and training firm. He is also is the author of the award-winning "No-Compromise Leadership" leadership book , as well as "Wake Up!" and the recently published second edition of "Fast Forward". To learn more at

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Eric Ducoff
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