Last week’s question asked “who owns failure?” Success is shared by each person on the team but who is responsible for the failures — the boss or the team members? Most readers say the leader should take responsibility for any failure

Failures are pathway to success

Yes, owning up to failure is one of the most important traits of a leader. A team consists of members who are engaged in achieving the goals and objectives of the company with the guidance of the team leader /CEO of the organisation. The CEO represents the organisations and his team are the body and brain through which the affairs of the company are conducted. The leader is a mentor and guide and hand holds the team. Success of a team certainly belongs to the team, but the failure is the onus of the leader alone. Some thing is amiss in his guidance. However, in taking the failure in his stride and implementing corrective steps to overcome it lies the trait of a great leader.

K.S. Ragahvan, Mumbai

Together everyone achieve more

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success,” said Henry Ford. A team is designed to fulfil a common vision, an individual commitment to a group effort. If the things do not go according to the plan then the team should stand by each other. When the plan goes wrong then instead of pointing fingers at each other, the team should analyse the cause of failure and channelise the team’s energy to find the corrective action. If it is an individual error then the team leader should take responsibility and let the person know of the shortfall in his or her performance. Adequate training and knowledge enhancing sessions can prevent such incidents. But in the scenario when the person commits a mistake for personal benefits, then individual should be held responsible instead of penalising everyone on the team. In the end, team members, team leaders and the management every one is collectively responsible for the problems encountered.

Anjali Anirudhan, Bangalore

Do not blame implements

It is true that success or failure of project depends on team work, but it’s the leader who makes all the difference. There were many instances where some ‘failed team’ was doing wonders under a different boss and the ‘successful team’ was failing to deliver with a change in higher up. A leader cannot expect all his team members to be equally efficient. He has to take along all the team members and be responsible for proper planning, organising and executing the project or task. A good leader should always own up the failure and try to make amends, instead of throwing blame on individuals.

C.S.C.M.Sankara Rao, Visakhapatnam

(This article was published on August 2, 2012)
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