Man looking into the mirror at himself

Leadership – The Buck Stops Here Starts By Looking In The Mirror

The phrase – “The Buck Stops Here” was, per , popularized by US president Harry Truman. The phrase is based on the metaphorical expression passing the buck, derived from poker gameplay, that came to mean “passing blame”, or absolving oneself of responsibility or concern by denying authority or jurisdiction over a given matter.

I’d like to offer an update to that expression. It’s – Look In The Mirror.

Instead of making excuses for or ignoring chronic issues that may be plaguing your business* those issues should be deeply thought through while sitting in front of a mirror. Doing so may even expose huge blind spots and chinks in the shiny armor of your self-assessed awesome greatness as a leader. The irony is that as the owner of your business, the leader, you are the source of 100% of the internal issues that bite, irritate, or cause major distress in your life. I’ve talked to enough business owners to know that this lack of control can and does eat them alive.

Man looking into the mirror at himself

Yet for most, the pain of trying to keep the status quo, by trying to ignore issues or a fear of addressing issues, has to become more than the pain of the change needed that will calm the daily fires within the business as well as the collateral damage created in their personal lives.

There are certainly external factors that create issues that can negatively impact your business – but wouldn’t those be easier to anticipate and adjust to if internally your people, your processes and your technology were aligned to a single, unifying mission?

All leaders possess magnanimity to some degree which is a visionary greatness or a desire for greatness. All  too often many who possess magnanimity forget that the virtue of humility, which is a devotion to service to others, must be permanently paired with magnanimity in order to become a great leader.

“A humble man sees only his own faults.” Saint Claude La Columbiere

*Examples: High employee turnover, miscommunication, poor client care (have you looked at your company’s Yelp or other rating organization lately?), fear of those who work for you to speak openly, lack of growth, poor employee productivity, poor planning and execution. Have I missed a few?

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