Owning up to shortcomings important in leadership

Share This:

One of the surest ways to hinder our full potential as students in college is to pass blame to other people. 

Leaders don’t “pass the buck.” Leaders take full responsibility for what they do and then seek to improve upon it. We can gain the advantage if we will use the opportunities of responsibility to learn from our mistakes.

As students at Dixie State University, it can be very hard to accomplish everything we are asked to do. Brian Tracy said in “Eat That Frog” that we will never be able to accomplish everything we need or want to do. There just simply isn’t enough time each day.

As soon as we can realize we can’t do everything, we can move forward in being responsible and owning up to our shortcomings. Passing blame for our shortcomings will never get us anywhere. It will not give us anything worthwhile, because as soon as we pass blame to someone else, we lose ability to really grow and overcome our shortcomings. We have ultimately surrendered ourselves to ease. 

 I have taken the opportunity to test this theory in school. I recall specifically studying for a class at the library, and because of long hours of work and study, I promptly fell asleep. I slept right through my next class, and by the time I woke up, the class was over.

I thought about what I should say to my professor so that I could get credit for the work that day, but as I thought about it, I determined that trying to blame my absence on anything other than myself would be useless. So, I told my professor I fell asleep studying and missed the class.

As a result of my honesty and taking full responsibility for my actions, my professor simply gave me the work I missed and told me sometimes we need to catch up on a little sleep. It was as simple as that. I had maintained a great relationship with my professor, while keeping a clear conscience. I knew my shortcoming, and I knew that I was overcoming it by seeking help from my professor. 

Taking responsibility for our actions may not always result in such agreeable circumstances as that, but the truth is, we will always gain more from taking ownership of our actions rather than trying to pass blame on something or someone else. Ownership brings character and mental fitness. Owning up to our actions will help us to be proactive in solving problems rather than skirting them and seeking to hide them.

Phrases like, “It was too hard,” “If he hadn’t…,” “Well, if you would’ve…,” and others, should never be a part of our conversations.

Realize that nobody is perfect, and people don’t expect us to be perfect. The sooner we take that to heart, the sooner we can progress and become more of a leader. The buck stops here.