Responsibility is the foundation of interdependence. Unless and until you assume full responsibility for your own behavior and results, you force others to assume responsibility for you. It is your responsibility to perform your job with ethical distinction and to care about what you do, who you do it with, and who you do it for.
Looking in the mirror and asking yourself “am I assuming full responsibility?” is difficult because our self-serving bias will always want to answer yes. Responsibility is a continual journey of discovering and understanding the aspects of our work and life that are dependent on rather than interdependent with others.
There is no substitute for performance. Your primary responsibility at work is to perform your given work with distinction and then self-authorize continual improvement. It’s your job, not your supervisor’s job, to improve the work that you do. The rhetoric of partnership sounds something like this: “This does not seem to be working and I think we can do better. Have you considered these alternatives/options? Here is what I would be willing to do to help.”
There is no substitute for caring. We have a responsibility to care about the work that we do, the people we do it with, and the people we do it for. I don’t know how to teach people to care; however, I do believe you can learn to care more, but only if it is something you truly value. You will lead exactly the way that you follow, so if you never learn to care as a follower I guarantee you will never truly care once you become a leader.
Leaders that don’t really care and that fail to maintain mastery of their domains are no longer worthy of the trust of others. Your leadership credibility will only ever be as strong as your personal responbility
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