In Western culture, for the most part, we have applauded people who have taken the initiative to achieve objectives beyond "assigned work"and who have grasped the necessary authority, as required, to accomplish those types of endeavors. To some extent, people have considered this a form of leadership; as the ones taking initiative have, through their explicit behaviors, gone before and shown the way; a paraphrase of the definition of leadership proposed by Greenleaf (1977), in his seminal work on servant leadership. Successes in those initiatives have often yielded rewards, including personal satisfaction, personal glory, and material gains, among others. However, failures in those endeavors have led some initiative takers to abdicate their associated responsibilities -- the responsibilities they voluntarily took on, initially, when they grasped the requisite authority to accomplish the work. Since they had originally grasped the authority, rather than having accepted authority as an assignment, only they could primarily hold themselves accountable, unless they had committed illegal acts in their failures.
Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. New York: Pualist Press.