Are You Responsible?

I saw an advertisement for a law firm on television the other day. The ad said that if you had lost money in the stock market or other investments that you “shouldn’t blame yourself,” you should sue your investment advisor. It said “you’re not responsible.” 

That pretty much sums up where many of today’s problems come from. No one blames themselves for anything. Nothing is anyone’s fault. Responsibility, for way too many people, is a thing of the past. 

When kids mess up it’s not their fault, it is the parents. When parents mess up it’s the “systems” responsibility. When the system is screwed up it’s the politicians inability to get anything done that’s the problem. When the politicians don’t get anything done one party blames the other….and on and on it goes. 

Where there is no responsibility there is no success. Responsibility removes productivity blocking excuses. Responsibility leads to learning and the elimination of mistakes. Responsibility is a direct road to success. 

Fewer and fewer people are willing to stand up and accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong. If you’re not a fan of long lines then step right into the line of responsibility because there will be almost no one in line with you. Meanwhile the no responsibility line goes on forever these days.

Sometimes, rarely, not accepting responsibility can be a sign of humility, especially when it is responsibility for something that went right. It was interesting watching the New England Patriots celebrate their amazing comeback victory in this year’s Super Bowl. It appeared most of the team, even their biggest stars, were playing a game of “hot potato” with the credit for their success. Every player interviewed claimed someone else was more responsible for the comeback than them. 

But here’s where their true success comes from. If they had lost I’d bet you nearly every player on that team would have accepted responsibility themselves. Authentic Leaders and successful people accept more than their share of  the responsibility for a failure and giveaway virtually all the credit for any success. 

If you truly want to be a leader then admit your mistakes, accept responsibility for your actions, and never never blame someone else for something you did wrong.

Accepting responsibility for your decision making, choices, actions and their outcome indeed adds pressure to your life but that’s not a bad thing. A bit of pressure helps you excel. Accept the pressure of responsibility and the odds are you will be more successful as a result. 


8 thoughts on “Are You Responsible?

  1. Good one Steve. You hit the nail on the head. No one is ever wrong. Denial is not just a river in Africa (pun). You are only as good as your team. Not a Patriots fan, but you have to admire their commitment to team work. You are only as good as your team and the responsibility that all undertake.

    1. Thanks John. I am really just trying to point out that everyone is wrong except for me. I thought I made a mistake once but I was wrong…as far as I can tell it’s the only time I was ever actually wrong.

  2. “Responsibility is a direct road to success.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Now that I stopped being incomprehensibly irresponsible, I have started on that path – it feels good too.

    Thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks for your comment, and congrats on deciding to take responsibility for your life and I agree, it’s good to be in control and where there is no responsibility, there is no control.

  3. I once built an ad campaign around this. If you hire me, and then spot a mistake in your writing, you can blame Michael. The campaign wasn’t as successful as it should have been. I blame Google.

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