WOW Word-Of-the-Week #357: Responsibility

June 6, 2011 by  

Responsibility – the quality nf being accountable for your actions and decisions.

Do you have a tendency to blame others when things go wrong? Are you a “team player” and supportive of the people that you work with? Have you ever given credit to someone even when you should have been the one receiving it?

This week’s WOW features more excerpts from the chapter in Chris’ book featuring, “The Six Guidelines I Ask Of My Direct Reports.

Guideline #3 – Take Responsibility

“Some of us do our jobs and some of us will not, but we will all be judged by one thing – the result.” – Vince Lombardi

Take responsibility for attitude. True, only you have the ability to control your own but you can influence and change the behavior of others by being a role model. I own my attitude and I want you to hear it loud and clear!

Take responsibility for not making excuses. In our organization we’ve identified those ”killer phrases” that often sabotage conversations. (List way too long for this WOW!) But for example you know this one, ‘We tried that before and it didn’t work.'”

Take responsibility for making others successful. There are no limits to how far a person can go or how much we can accomplish as long as we don’t mind who gets the credit. If you truly accept that each person contributes to the whole and you’ve let go of your large ego you’ll easily be able to share the wealth and give others the credit they deserve for their work.”

Take responsibility when things go wrong. More people would learn from their mistakes if they didn’t spend so much time denying they made them. Blame is a time waster. It is an old negative concept that leads us nowhere but backwards. Let’s take advantage of our missteps. Being vulnerable can turn into a real strength. I have many learning experiences to my credit to go along with my successes.”

This week’s focus is on taking responsibility. Do you make excuses or blame others when things don’t go as planned? Do you like helping others to succeed? Do you feel you influence others by being a positive role model?

Reader Responses

“If you delete the first two syllables from that word you get “sibility”.  In my dictionary that is the skill of getting along with one’s siblings, especially during the family get togethers at Thanksgiving.” – John

“This is a good WOW! I want to read Chris’s book.” – Katie

“This is probably the best word that you have featured this year. The biggest problem in American business today is the lack of accountability. I don’t know why, but I believe it has to do with companies and individuals not wanting to be sued. In my young life, I believe that it may have started with the result of the Watergate scandal, when President Richard Nixon resigned. By resigning the presidency and not going through with the imminent impeachment trial in the House of Representatives, President Nixon pretty much escaped the responsibility for his high crimes and misdemeanors. While he had to deal with the disgrace of resigning his office, he was not put on trial for his misdeeds, including the cover up. Ever since then, people have made deals to avoid jail time, being fired or not doing well in school. Instead of being accountable for our actions, we have been able to avoid them in order to reach a different result. Young people have especially been hurt by this in school. Instead of holding youngsters back as a result of failing grades, they are promoted to the next grade because we don’t want to upset their feelings. In business, when a company decides to let an employee go, a reason is concocted to make it sound like it was a mutual decision, or that the fired worker was looking for greener pastures. In this way, the company wipes its hands clean of an unwanted employee without revealing the true reason to future employers who may be calling to find out why he or she are no longer working for the company. Wiping our hands of responsibility or accountability seems to be the status quo today. Mediocrity is the result of all of this. If I make a mistake, I admit it and try not to make it again. As you noted in your WOW! we are responsible for our attitudes and being an example. I keep up an optimistic face every day in the office, bringing good will in my own way to my coworkers. Regardless of the situation, I stay positive. I also give credit where credit is due. If someone did a good job in the office, I will compliment that person. However, if I do a good job, I let other people talk about it. I don’t like to toot my own horn too much. It can look unseemly at times. But making sure that people get a pat on the back every day helps keep morale up. We need more of it, but I don’t see enough of it. Many times, my coworkers are taken for granted by their superiors. Every day, I tell a woman in my office who is responsible for assisting a few different superiors. She is never told by these people that she does a good job. She is taken for granted. It is sad, but true. We need to give our coworkers a slap on the back and a boost every day. They are carrying the load for many companies, yet don’t get the credit they deserve. It is too bad. Have a good weekend, Susan. Take care.” – “Warrior” Joe