Don't you just wish it was a smile that you had on your face when you boss passed the buck?
It happens. Projects get off the rails and instead of accepting responsibility for the results or lack thereof, the boss shifts the blame to you, or your team or some intangible aspect of life....like 'ran out of time'. Unfortunately, by not accepting responsibility, the boss is damaging his reputation as well as that of the team. It comes to a point where everyone know what will happen and morale gets lower and lower until other actions take place - you leave, the boss gets moved or removed, others leave, customers complain and/or leave...leading to the worst result-closing.
Now that may sound a little extreme, but in a time when customers vote with their feet or their mouse on how they spend their money, and employees can look for other options while on the job, the potential can be devastating to a company that is passing the buck. After all, what is done by one person can lead to the erosion of reputation, brand and market share.
What to do? Ownership is key. Be an honest, truthful leader and give the buck back. Do so tactfully and with respect including an explanation as to why the buck is going back...and ideas on potentially avoiding the same situation in the future. Your reputation depends on it.