Like a summer morning sunrise the promise of a fresh start, a new calendar presses us to keep moving. The early weeks of our New Year vanish. We write Chapter 2019 of the Story, ready or not. What will it take to write the Story you want to tell? What will it take to achieve your full potential? What will it take for your team or organization to maximize this year’s opportunities?
Part of the answer is a commitment to take responsibility. As Stephen Covey would say, “The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about and prioritizing your life around the most important things.”
What’s your life about? What’s the theme for the year ahead?
In my last blog post, I announced and invited you to consider 2019: The Year of Responsibility.
The Year of Responsibility
Responsibility means there is freedom to answer for your role in the Story. A little deeper dive into the meaning of responsibility will prove instructive, so let’s dig in.
First, we must acknowledge that part of the human condition is to blame. You could be the victim, deny, minimize, rationalize, or avoid your role in a difficult situation, problem, or failure. As people, we are less inclined to take responsibility when we miss the mark.
Remember responsibility is freedom to answer for your role in the Story.
Freedom speaks to liberation. You must be free from restraint to take responsibility.
What might restrain us?
- Fear. When a leader employs a fear-based exercise of power, freedom to take responsibility is eliminated. People hide.
- Lack of clarity. Vague, continually changing expectations will not permit people to take responsibility, how could they? Set clear expectations.
- The Game. For teams to win, the culture of your workplace cannot participate in the unproductive “Gotcha” game. Seek “the truth in the Story” not a scapegoat.
When the old school, fear-based tactics are used; when expectations are foggy; when “The Gotcha Game” is accepted, people hide. Stop such behaviors and see how a cohesive team wants to take responsibility.
Free people are more likely to own their stuff. Freedom comes when “failure” is recognized as just part of The Journey and being human.
Freedom to answer means you are fortunate to live and work in a safe environment. Oh, happy day! Because you feel safe, you’re able (free) to make yourself responsible or to be accountable for your actions, contribution, or behavior.
As Simon Sinek famously writes, “When the leader makes a choice to put the safety and lives of the people inside the organization first, to sacrifice their comforts and sacrifice the tangible results so that the people remain and feel safe and feel like they belong, remarkable things happen.”
Freedom to answer for your role. You have a part, your role in the Story. There’s always more to the story, a lot of contributing factors in a situation. The key is to take 100% responsibility for the outcome. This is possible when you know “failure” does not define you; it’s just part of the Story.
Freedom to answer for your role in the Story. You may recall the five realities of the Story: 1) Everybody has a Story. 2) Every day you add to the Story. 3) Today, you will influence someone’s Story. 4) There’s always more to the Story. And 5) You are responsible for writing your Story.
The Story connects us to one another.
The Story brings truth to those who seek the truth.
The Story instructs the teachable.
Create Space to reflect
What’s your Story? Are you writing the Story you want to tell?
How is responsibility handled in your workplace?
Remember the best predictor of future success is your ability and willingness to learn and change achieved through consistent reflection on truth found in the Story.
2019: The Year of Responsibility
Freedom to Answer for One’s Role in the Story
I’m thankful for you and how the Story has connected us.
Here’s to your Next Level,
Here’s a little something extra The Conscious Leadership Group video (4:42) “Are you taking your 100% responsibility?”