In courtrooms all across the country, judges have asked defendants, “What is your defense?” To which many have answered “I was unaware I was breaking the law,” and judges always respond, “Ignorance of the law is no defense.” You see, “I was not aware” is not excusable in the court of law. The rule is, it’s your duty to understand the laws of where you live. Throughout history, the unspoken law of leadership has been similar: if you are in charge, it’s your responsibility to be aware. Today’s leadership in Washington seems to have a default answer of “I was not aware,” as if this statement exonerates accountability. “I was not aware” may be the truth, but as a leader it’s not an excusable excuse. If your people didn’t tell you, they are still your people.
Granted, the larger the organization (and our current government is about as big as it gets… hopefully), the less top leadership is expected to know. But not about major key issues; it’s a must for top leadership to know about the majors. Worse yet is if you really were aware. You see, Proverbs 24:12 says: “Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew.” So if you truly are unaware, say so, but don’t think the statement entitles you to a get out of jail free card. Part of leadership is taking responsibility and sometimes it’s not fun.
What say you?