People talk about taking responsibility. It’s a wonderful concept. What’s more, a quick analysis of that phrase itself can reveal some important truths.
“Taking” is an action word, a verb. In order, therefore, to take responsibility, we have to actually do something.
Opportunities to take responsibility abound. The need can be triggered by things we see, by information and data that comes into our orbit, by asking ourselves questions, by requests from co-workers, family and friends, and in many other ways. When faced with one of these triggers, a decision is in order.
Choosing to do nothing leads to personal failure. Sometimes we have to respectfully decline. If the matter is outside my area of responsibility, it’s better that I say “No” and save my capacity for something else. In other cases, I can defer my efforts until it’s more convenient. I must be diligent, however, not to let my rightful duties fall through the cracks and into a black hole. When appropriate, the proper response will result in an action.
When faced with such situations, the next step is completely up to me. Responsibility will not force itself into my court. I have to reach out, grab it, and perform. That’s called taking responsibility.
The above is used by permission from the book Three Years Of Tuesday Mornings: 156 e-mails about business and life by Steve Fales.