One of the key management system principles is effective leadership. Let me begin with the myth below.
Leadership ensures a holistic approach, weaving together the interests of customers, suppliers, employees, local community and society at large, setting clear vision, goals and targets, providing sufficient resources – manpower and equipment, reviewing quality policy, and implementing improvements in quality systems. Ideally each employee must be trained and empowered to work with freedom, responsibility and accountability. Leadership encourages and recognizes personal contributions; it works on trust and avoids fear.
Now it is a tall order. Let us face the realities.
If the above were entirely true, there will be right processes and equipment for every job, every employee will be adequately trained for his job, decision making will be decentralized, motivation is by positive reinforcement and not by fear.
Usually when there is a customer complaint, the default option is to find blame with a person, materials, or environment, in that order. The test of good leadership lies in the courage to face errors originating from the holistic systems approach, such as wrong or inadequate processes/ equipment, improper selection of materials, insufficient training, low-morale of workers, etc.