Disney got it right through the words spoken by Hopper, the big bug-bully from the movie “A Bug’s Life” created by Pixar in 1998 when he exclaimed, “The first rule of leadership … Everything is YOUR fault!”
Think about that for a second. Who is at fault when something doesn’t get completed as instructed. Does the blame go to the one who gave the instructions or to the person who received them?
Some might say responsibility goes to the slacker who didn’t follow direction. I would suggest looking at the situation from a leadership point of view. The greater responsibility always goes to the person of higher position when there is a transfer of instruction.
The answer to who’s at fault is both when it comes to responsibility. If you are given instruction by your boss then you have the obligation to listen, understand and carry out the mission. If you gave the command and you are the leader, it’s up to you to be sure you were understood and to follow up on the actions.
If you want to lead in a way that builds impressions, remember the first rule of leadership – It’s all YOUR fault!