I know it shouldn’t be that way and in a lot of cases it isn’t fair but it is just the way life plays out. I just experienced one of those moments over the weekend. While driving home from shopping I was entering the lane that accesses the on ramp to the highway. There is cross traffic that also has access to the on ramp but they were currently under a red light. There were roughly two to three car lengths separating the car ahead of me, which appeared to be accelerating to enter the highway, so I turned my attention back to the cars in cross traffic to verify they were still stopped at the light. Verifying that it was safe to proceed onto the ramp I turned my attention back to my lane only to discovery that for no apparent reason the car ahead of me was stopped. While I tried to stop I could not and I hit the back end of the car. While I believe I’m not at fault since there was no reason for the car to be stopped at the access to the on ramp I’m still at fault because by law in a rear-end collision the last car is always responsible.
I was certainly unhappy with the situation and I seethed as I heard the young driver tell me that they were unsure of their driving skills in this situation and chose to stop and wait for the cross traffic to clear as he believed they were receiving a green light. I held my tongue as I knew it would do no good to say anything to either the driver or the police officer that responded to the accident. In business it is much the same way. As owners we have responsibility over a lot of areas of our business that we may only have partial or no control over. Employees can be given job assignments, detailed descriptions of how to perform the task within the assignment and benchmarks for their performance of the job and still not do the job assignment correctly. While the employee has failed the business owner is still responsible to the client for the poor outcome. It is your fault even when it isn’t.
How is an owner going to overcome such issues? Complete every business task themselves? Unrealistic if the owner wants the business to grow. The true answer is training and plenty of it and a system of checks and balances to create quality
control. If you are unsure how to implement either of these it is probably time to enlist the aid of a business consultant to your business set up a program. Remember, it’s your fault even when it isn’t.