The phrase, “the buck stops here,” was made popular by President Harry S. Truman. The phrase was on his desk in the Oval Office as a reminder to himself and the nation he was leading that ultimately the final responsibility was his. The phrase implies that the responsibility for something cannot or should not be passed on to someone else. No one to blame, no scapegoating or making of excuses. Let that sit with you for a while before reading any further.
What might happen if you were to approach living your life in this way? Rather than doing the thing that comes naturally—blaming others and making excuses, you start saying, “the buck stops with me,” and you take total responsibility for your life.
Of course others will do things to you that will hurt and sometimes set you back immensely. But if you are going to move on you must take ultimate responsibility for your life. You cannot expect to move on if you continue to blame others and make excuses for your troubles and challenges in life. Every person who has risen from the challenges and troubles of life will tell you that at some point and time in their life they had to stop blaming others for where they were or stop making excuses, and ultimately take responsibility for their life.
The buck stops here is also true for leaders. You may be the leader of a large or small organization, religious or secular, but ultimately the buck stops with you. Regardless of your role in the organization, there may be a malfunction until the buck still stops with you. If there is conflict at the lowest level of the organization that is affecting its healthy functioning, the buck stops with you in getting it resolved. I am not suggesting you have to personally become involved in the resolution, especially if you are leading a large organization. What I am suggesting is that you hold the appropriate people accountable for keeping the organization healthy in order to achieve the goals.
The same is true if you have people in the organization who are not equipped to function effectively in their roles or are not willing to make the necessary changes to keep up with change that is occurring within the organization. They should be trained to function more effectively. If they are unwilling to be trained or if they simply do not have the skill sets to do the job, then they need to be replaced.
As the leader, you are charged with the responsibility of guiding the organization to achieve its goals and objectives. When those goals and objectives are not being met, for whatever reason, the buck stops with you; you are ultimately responsible.
What might happen to the organization you are leading at the moment if you decide from this moment forward to say, the buck stops with me in whatever situation(s) that maybe causing your organization to not function in a healthy manner?
This will call for a new way of thinking and acting. Rather than looking for excuses and someone to blame, you will now be focused on solutions to the issues that are affecting the health of your organization.
Who knows what you can achieve in the years to come if you decide today to say, “When it comes to my personal life and the organization I lead, the buck stops with me. No more excuses, scapegoating or blaming others. I will take ultimate responsibility for my life and the organization I lead.”
Ultimately, the buck really does stop with you.
If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at email@example.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.