Leadership and The Buck

If you feel that the Buck stops above you then you are not a leader. 

It strikes me that Civil Servants in the UK want all the benefits of having their cake and eating it.  They want to be seen as leaders, with all the trappings that come with such a position.    But when their leadership fails they want to pass the buck and be protected.   Too easily they  use the language of a victim rather than that of a leader, collapsing into self pity and recrimination.

So if you find yourself managing complexity then you are a manager.   If you are managing change then you are a leader.  Professor John Kotter has been explaining this for years.   It was Rudyard Kipling that really nailed this in his poem If.   The shortest essay on leadership I know.

Oh and given that he was born in Bombay, I wonder if the UK Border Agency would have let him into the UK.   

1 thought on “Leadership and The Buck

  1. The truth may be that the Border Agency wouldn’t know whether Mr Kipling had entered the UK or not.

    Your thoughts on leadership make for an interesting comparison with Management Today’s Matthew Gwyther’s blog about James Murdoch’s performance yesterday:
    “One of the first rules of management and being the boss is an acceptance of responsibility. The buck stops with you. Even when things go very badly wrong and you are “let down” by poor behaviour in the ranks, it looks very bad indeed when you crap so openly in public on your employees.” (http://editorsblog.managementtoday.co.uk/2011/11/11/james-murdoch-and-why-we-don%E2%80%99t-endorse-mafia-tactics-here/)

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