A leader can give up anything – except final responsibility.
– John C. Maxwell
Today, people focus more on their rights than on their responsibilities. Good leaders never embrace a victim mentality. They recognize that who and where they are remain their responsibility – not that of their parents, their spouses, their children, the government, their bosses, or their coworkers. They face whatever life throws at them and give it their best, knowing that they will get an opportunity to lead the team only if they’ve proved that they can carry the ball. Take a look at the following characteristics of people who embrace responsibility:
- They Get the Job Done – In a study of self-made millionaires, one thing they all had in common: they work hard. No one can do the minimum and reach his / her maximum potential. How do people maintain a get-it-done attitude? They think of themselves as self-employed. If you want to achieve more and build your credibility with followers, adopt that mind-set.
- They Are Willing to Go the Extra Mile – Responsible people never protest, “That’s not my job.” They’re willing to do whatever it takes to complete the work needed by the organization. If you want to succeed, be willing to put the organization ahead of your agenda.
- They Are Driven by Excellence – Excellence is a great motivator. People who desire excellence- and work hard to achieve it- are almost always responsible. And when they give their all, they live at peace. Make high quality your goal, and responsibility will naturally follow.
- They Produce Regardless of the Situation – The ultimate quality of a responsible person is the ability to finish. It is priceless to find a person who will take responsibility, who will finish and follow through to the final detail – to know when someone has accepted an assignment that it will be effectively, conscientiously completed.” If you want to lead, you’ve got to produce.
Are you on target when it comes to responsibility? Do others see you as a finisher? Do people look to you to carry the ball in pressure situations? Are you known for excellence? If you haven’t been performing at the highest level, you may need to cultivate a stronger sense of responsibility.
To improve your responsibility, do the following:
- Keep Hanging In There – Sometimes an inability to deliver despite difficult circumstances can be due to a persistence problem. The next time you find yourself in a situation where you’re going to miss a deadline, lose a deal, or fail to get a program off the ground, stop and figure out how to succeed. Think outside the lines. Can you work through the night? Can you call a colleague to help you? Can you hire a staff member or find a volunteer to help? Creativity can bring responsibility to life.
- Admit What’s Not Good Enough – If you have trouble achieving excellence, maybe you’ve lowered your standards. Look at your personal life for place where you’ve let things slip. Then make changes to set higher standards. It will help you to reset the bar of excellence for yourself.
- Find Better Tools – If you find that your standards are high, your attitude is good, and you consistently work hard – and you still don’t achieve the way you’d like – get better equipped. Improve your skills by taking classes, reading books, and listening to tapes. Find a mentor. Do whatever it takes to become better at what you do.
In inmate at Butte County Jail in California explained his absence from jail to sheriff’s deputies in this manner: “I was playing pole vault and I got too close to the wall and I fell over the wall. When I regained my senses, I ran around to try and find a way back in, but being unfamiliar with the area, got lost. Next thing I knew I was in Chico.” People seldom realize how weak their excuses are until they hear some from others.
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. (Galatians 6:3-5)