Take Responsibility to Gain Momentum
Freeing yourself and others to gain traction and action.
by Andrew Cooke, Growth & Profit Solutions
How often have you waited for work or input from someone else in order to get your work done, or to actually start the process. It’s not your fault you are delayed, but what can you do about it?
In short, the answer is to grow up and take the initiative!
We are inculcated into a culture of blame which, in turn we use to abrogate responsibility and for blaming others – this creates a vicious cycle. Furthermore, we are afraid of taking the initiative in case we fail, and then how will we look to others. So we stay there, sitting on our hands, not wanting to take the risk of trying and failing, and worried that we might not look good if we do so; and we are happy to do so, because if we don’t move we can’t do anything wrong. For some reason we assume that because we have not made a decision, then no decision has been made; we forget that no decision is a decision in itself and has its own set of consequences.
Breaking the Cycle – Taking Responsibility
If you want to things to improve, to overcome inertia and to gain momentum then the responsibility for doing so starts with you. There is no cavalry charging over the hill to rescue you – they are too busy sitting on their own hands. You have to take action and be the catalyst regardless of your position or role – you are taking on responsibility and accountability for what needs to be done and yourself.
We all want to work with people who are energized, take the initiative and have drive. Yet we are surprised when they don’t exhibit these qualities – simply because we fail to exemplify it in what we do and how we behave, and people follow our example.
3 Key Actions To Take
To liberate yourself and others do three things:p
- Recognize the difference between fault and responsibility – there is a significant difference between them. As a leader you may be responsible for a situation, even if you are not at fault – the blame is irrelevant and counter-productive. Fault is backward-looking, and responsibility is forward-looking.
- Take ownership – this frees us to take action and drive results.
- Own the problem and take action – this helps both ourselves and others; we create a virtuous cycle by providing the necessary avatar for others, and help to unblock their blockages.
So what are you going to do and how will you help your people – your reports, your peers and your bosses? The responsibility for this lies with you.
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