Every crisis communications manager knows the first rule is to accept responsibility. It really is #1 in the play book.

President John Kennedy discovered this when he accepted responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Commentators at the time said that move raised his credibility and made him appear presidential.

So it is no surprise that the current president is now accepting responsibility for New Orleans. It is a good move.

Such a good move, that even the governor of Louisiana piped in and accepted responsibility the same day.

I wouldn’t be surprised if more people don’t step forward to accept responsibility — and the hosannas that come with it!

That’s because this is a fool-proof strategy,

You see, finger pointers are whiners and cowards. People who accept responsibility are leaders. Plain and simple fact of human nature.

When I was a copy editor at a newspaper a long time ago, I screwed up big time. My editor called me on the carpet. I had just read about the Kennedy thing.I told my boss that I accepted responsibility. That took all the wind out of his sales. He was actually happy that I didn’t try to weasel out of it. Case closed. Everyone’s happy.

On a related note, do you realize what happens to leaders who accept responsibility?

They don’t get fired.

They don’t get sued.

They don’t get kicked out of office.

They don’t get put in jail.

There is absolutely NO downside for accepting responsibility!

In terms of customer service, did you realize that studies show that companies that have solved customer’s problems receive higher satisfaction reports than customers who had no problems with the company?

I accept full responsibility for this blog, including the typos and the misspelling of hosannas. I won’t even blame the spell checker for not including that great word.

Dan Janal
Your Fearless PR LEADER
PR LEADS Expert Resource Network