It is Your Mess, You Clean It Up
When Paulie strangles a Russian associate and stuffs him in the trunk of my car, only to discover that the guy isn’t dead and just happens to be a former Russian Green Beret—what do I do? I tell Paulie to take care of it. I got myself into a jam; I must get myself out of it.
A trusting working relationship means that you take responsibility for what you do. You earn trust by following through, by making good on tasks and projects you own. You break it, you pay for it. You screw it up, you fix it.
And if you’re the boss, it’s okay to let people know they need to take full responsibility. “You use your own judgment,” I suggest. “But whatever you decide, you do it way the fuck away from me.” Good managers are decisive, but they also know when to make others decide.
Ralph is burdened with deciding what to do about Jackie Jr. after the youth and my gang kill a card dealer and shoot Furio in the leg. Ralph tries to pass the decision back to I, but I won’t have it. It was Ralph’s card game, and Ralph is sleeping with Jackie’s mother, so it’s Ralph’s problem.
Good leaders delegate fully. When things go well, or when a business unit gets busy, the delegate takes responsibility and should be rewarded. Similarly, when things get sticky, delegates must take responsibility—and make decisions.