Who has the buck?

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Harry Truman knew it. The guy in charge is responsible. It matters little if it’s an international corporation or a small woodworking shop or a truck out on the road. When something goes awry or fails, the guy in charge has to shoulder the responsibility.

Fate can play a part for certain. If a tire blows at 60 miles an hour, is the driver responsible for the ensuing crash? Maybe. Maybe the driver should have known how to keep the car under control and stop safely. That could be argued.

And it’s easy to pass the buck. You can blame your foreman or, if you are the foreman, you can blame the guys working under your supervision. Maybe they didn’t follow your instructions. Or maybe you did not make your instructions clear enough.

One thing is certain. You will not gain the respect of either your customers, your employees or yourself by refusing to take responsibility when problems arise. You have to carry the weight.

Sorry, but it’s part of the job.


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