Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Responsibility Breeds Results

Something Every Leader Knows

Before getting into any discussion about responsibility or being responsible, it makes sense to have a clear definition of the word. Often, people have an idea or concept of what something means. This is the definition to use for the purposes of this article.

re•spon•si•ble \ri-ˈspän(t)-sə-bəl\ adjective 1 a: liable to be called on to answer b (1): liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent (2): being the cause or explanation.

With that under our belt, to be responsible is no small task. Most people spend their lives avoiding being responsible for their actions. George Washington Carver once said, "Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” Who are these people and for what are they responsible? Or the question could be posed for what am I responsible?
The Who, not the group, is you and those around you. But, let us make it personal. You are responsible for your actions, inaction, what you see, say, think, and do not think. Yes, it might seem like an overwhelming task. However, every aspect of your Life depends on your action, inaction, what you see both metaphorically and literally, what you speak out of your mouth, how you think and how you do not think. And the only person responsible for that is you. Of course, you might go back to what you were or were not exposed to as a child, the environment from which you came, teachers who were not nice, people who picked on you, and the list goes on. At the point in which you choose to take responsibility all of that disappears and you come out with strength, power, and freedom. Strength, power, and freedom to do, be or say, what is needed in a given situation, time, or place without restraint. “Although there may be tragedy in your life, there's always a possibility to triumph. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always,” was said by Oprah Winfrey. There is no greater responsibility that what you take for yourself. At the same time, once you are able to see you are responsible for your actions, inaction, what you see, say, think, and do not think; you now become responsible for the consequences bestowed on others as a result.

For what are you responsible? No one can escape the consequences of who they are or are not. Consequences are not good or bad, they simply are what they are. You choose to do or not do something there are going to be consequences. No matter where you turn you have responsibilities. The first definition of responsible is “liable to be called on to answer” after that we find, “to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent,” and “ being the cause or explanation”. You are responsible for those things you can be held to account. You are responsible for those things for which you can make an impact whether you see the impact or not, it does not matter. You are responsible for your “actions, inaction, what you see, say, think, and do not think.”

John Quinones, of ABS News, hosts a show called “What Would You Do?” which videos the response of people in different situations. For example, some show topics have touched on whether or not people would step in if they saw a person of color being harassed at a clothing store, gay patrons being bashed at a local pub, a Hispanic being beaten up and called names on a busy street, and seeing the spouse or significant other of a close friend snuggling with someone other that your friend; what would you do? Being responsible is a way of life and has you impact the lives of those around by expanding your reach. When can you afford not to be responsible? The price of greatness is responsibility; maybe it is that we are afraid of our power, strength, and ability to be free. Being responsible often produces great results meaning we are seen as great people. And truth be told, most people like the thought of being great, not what it takes to get there.

The results produced from being responsible are many; a Life of excitement for each day, the power to have situations be what you want, causing the lives of others to be transformed, clarity to make choices and decisions with no regrets, the courage to make things happen, and being seen as a leader. A leader is someone who is confident in their abilities and the abilities of those around them, allows others to have results which impact their life, and, John Buchan said it best, “the task of leadership is not to put into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” Taking responsibility no matter what has others be responsible for their greatness, their action, in action, what they see, say, think, and do not think. It elicits responsibility, action, and leadership in others. Responsibility breeds responsibility which breeds results.

Today, take responsibility for both your past and your future. Take responsibility for your actions, look for places you are not being responsible, when you see places that require someone to be responsible you be the ripple in the pond, if there is something that needs to be said and it will make a difference say it, begin to transform your thoughts to those of action and being responsible for your greatness, and you will be amazed at the results you produce. Great people are responsible leaders and responsibility breeds results. Are you ready to unleash your greatness and produce results?


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