by Jim Walter
Let’s talk about responsibility. Many of us would rather talk about another word that starts with an “R” – rights. Lately, I see and read a lot about rights – and they are important – but only small minds talk about rights without including responsibility. Today, we’ll be unpacking how taking responsibility can impact your organization in a big way.
What Are Rights? What’s Responsibility?
What do I mean by responsibility?
Responsibility involves your duty to others. It means you’re accountable to those who look up to you. It means the buck stops with you. Rights refer to the things you’re owed; responsibilities are the things you owe to others.
As a parent, I talk with my family about things like setting a good example, making good daily decisions, and doing something positive that will make a difference for someone else. We also talk about the fact that every right comes with responsibilities. Every action you take impacts the world around you, and that’s not something to be taken lightly.
Why am I a leadership coach, giving a civics lesson? Well – I’ve been in education most of my life, and the habit doesn’t go away! More importantly, the same concept of responsibility applies in the business world. It’s actually part of the Intention Collective’s founding tenets.
What Does It Mean to Take Responsibility as a Leader?
No matter your personal goals, you have a responsibility to those both inside and outside your business. We all have a responsibility to those who interact with us. As a leader, you have a responsibility to work toward the best interest of those within your organization, and take heed of how your actions impact the rest of society.
As the leader, it’s up to you to make decisions – it’s your right – but you also bear the burden of responsibility. Listen to input, but know that the difficult choice ultimately lies in your hands. Scrutinize your own opinions, research, and business dealings for what is best for those who depend on you – and those in the larger world. Don’t just reward the loudest and most critical voices.
The Beauty of Leadership That Takes Responsibility Seriously
When you approach your business with this mindset, you’ll be a great example in a world that sorely needs great examples. Talk with mentors or close colleagues about WHY you make the decisions you do. Don’t concern yourself with the critics – dig deep to discover your own thought process. Remember, your life is an evolution, a long learning curve, not a revolution that plows through everyone and everything. You were designed for great things.
How Do You Know You’re On the Right Track?
Building in time to assess your own level of responsibility is essential. I hope you and your leadership team spend time talking about this very topic! It’s not just about dividing up tasks – it’s much more big picture than that.
If you’re feeling a little uncertain, we’d love to partner with you. See how coaching might help you tap into the best version of yourself. No, we can’t serve all masters…but we can set a good example for others, we can make intentional and well-formed decisions, and we can make a difference for others every day. Set up a time to talk.