I have observed that many people love standing ovations for a job well done. We all have that someone we admire and want to be like. You’ve probably read tons of books teaching you how to be a good leader or how to influence people positively; in short, we mostly see the big picture of what responsibility produces and perhaps pay less attention to the process.
Everybody is responsible for something somehow. As a manager, you are responsible for the smooth running of operations in your unit and for your immediate supervisors, who are in turn responsible for members of their respective teams; and the members also are responsible for carrying out tasks – all which fall back to the big picture goals the organisation runs with.
Apparently it seems the lower you are on the cadre, the lesser your responsibility but that’s only half truth, because if you carry on your duties with that mindset, you also forget your portfolio size won’t increase either.
It goes without saying; whether you are an entree-level employee or a budding entrepreneur, you have to be truly responsible. It’s one thing to do your job and it’s an entirely different ball game to feel responsible for it; for starters, no company will promote or hire you into a managerial position if you don’t have a track-record that exudes excellence and true responsibility. So in plain terms, the more responsible you are, the higher the chances of having a fatter take home pay or driving your business through to success.
Two questions that paint a clear picture of what responsibility means are:
When it goes south who takes the fall?
When it goes well who gets all the praises?
As an entrepreneur, I deliberately groomed myself to take the largest piece of the pie in both instances but as a paid employee in a well structured firm, it’s possible (and quite easy) to hide under several umbrellas and still manage to get your take home pay at the end of the month. However, if you chose to toll that line, don’t complain if the fruit of your complacency keeps you reaping the no-pay-change status for a reward.
True responsibility however comes with some benefits that helps your business, work and life in the long run.
You manage better and waste less: By being responsible you become a better organised and functional part of the firm or team you work with. A simple example is thinking twice before engaging the company vehicle in carrying out your personal activities or resisting the urge to use the company phone for personal calls. It usually starts with these seemingly small things.
You progress, and it shows: Rather than seek for easy and odd ways out of bottlenecks, responsible individuals take it up as a challenge to seek lasting solutions to problems. In the process, they open their minds to new streams of knowledge and better understanding of the job, they also hone their skills and discover hidden potentials.
You lay a good foundation for Leadership:The word leadership screams responsibility. Without mincing words, if you can’t be responsible to yourself and for your immediate tasks, how can you be responsible for other people’s actions and the tasks they perform?
In précis, it really pays to be responsible whether or not you are accountable to someone. This is what makes the difference between great and mediocre individuals. Draw the line today and choose which path to follow.
Wishing you all the best this yuletide season, celebrate responsibly!