REMOVE THE DOUBT — THAT’S ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING HEADS MUST ROLL when certain types of screw-ups occur. So after the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups to search out 501 (c) 4 violations made such big news, the acting head of the agency had his “resignation asked for and accepted.” Could he have survived in the job if he’d broken the findings to the President himself simultaneously with firing the hands-on people involved? Maybe.
And maybe even if he couldn’t get out in front of the news, but had acted quickly to remove those most responsible. That’s what Hillary Clinton and her management cadre at the State Department did after the tragic news from Benghazi broke; when she “accepted responsibility” for inadequate security at the Benghazi post, it was clear she was speaking in code — it happened in her agency and she was handling it: The faulty decision-makers were already on the way out the door .
We’re still waiting to see what the fallout will be after what looks like excessive phone monitoring of the AP in an effort to find the recent big leaker.
Even more, we’re still waiting for Wall Street and banking to “accept responsibility” and clean up after the financial crisis, the “liar’s loan” mortgage mess and the wrongly foreclosed housing.
In a small-business context, when a client’s order has been screwed up, it’s up to you to ‘fess up, clean up, sometimes even pay up, and show what action you’re taking to be sure it never happens again. A change of employees, a new procedure, or taking over that dawn delivery route yourself — whatever will “remove the doubt.” That’s a business fundamental.