Who do you want to follow: the one who takes utter accountability for result or the one who will cast about for blame when something goes wrong? I point this out because a lot of people become successful in a titular sense by ensuring someone else takes the fall for any failure and yet take all credit for any success of their team. From my perspective, this is ass-backwards. The true leader will stand front and center, remove all burden from his team, and fully accept responsibility for a failure and, upon completion of a great achievement, give full credit to the team.
I, to this day, would follow those who have displayed accountability as well as revile those chased credit for success and cast about for blame for failures. Great things happen in the team that has a leader who takes ultimate accountability. There is no need to ask for extra efforts, no internal politics, and morale or esprit de corps is off the charts. Everyone knows the leader will be front and center in the harshest adversity, make and own the toughest decisions, and all will want to stand shoulder to shoulder with him/her to face whatever trial presents itself. Anyone who is part of an organization led like that remembers it for a lifetime. Unfortunately, it’s a very rare thing.
Every seed of dysfunction, corruption, and misery start in an organization when a person with a leadership title doesn’t take accountability. Cronyism, favoritism, scapegoating, indecisiveness, and, ultimately, unforgivable breaches of integrity all result and make being in that organization memorable for all the wrong reasons. There seems to be a continuum between these two roles of leadership but the great leaders, in my humble opinion, are those who put their bars or badge or title on the table every day when they come to work with the simple motto: “I am accountable.”