You can be given responsibility, but you have to take accountability.
Being responsible for decisions, and for the actions of others, can carry a significant amount of pressure. For that reason, some people would rather leave the decision-making to others. In truth, responsibility doesn’t have to be such a burden. Those who reject it could be missing the chance to progress in their career.
“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” ― Sigmund Freud
It is sometimes tempting to do exactly what you want, exactly when you want to do it. This is an ineffective and inconsiderate way to work because it doesn’t consider the implications for others. A responsible person will always think about the consequences of their actions before they do anything.
Responsibility is an admirable trait and leads to further gains. Responsibility isn’t just doing your homework or feeding the dog; it is making proper choices and doing the right thing because you were asked to and you said you would. But you can’t show responsibility without having it! “When life gives you lemons…” what do you do? The answer is different for everyone, but showing and having responsibility can, and will, pay off.
Being responsible also means making decisions for the overall good of anything you’re working on. It’s about considering the benefits to long-term goals, not your own short-term gratification.
Responsibility In The Workplace
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” ― Winston S. Churchill
First you need to understand what responsibility in the workplace means. Without showing responsibility in the position you hold now, you won’t likely be granted additional responsibilities until you are able to demonstrate the ability to do so. There are basic responsibilities like:
- showing up for work on time and putting in expected hours.
- making appropriate choices – such as how you dress and how you interact with others.
- being reliable – your boss, the people you work with, and clients should be able to rely on you on a daily basis, especially during peak or urgent periods.
In addition, to show you truly fulfill the responsibilities of your position you should be able to:
- meet deadlines (or complete work prior to deadline).
- meet or exceed each of your current job goals.
- quantify and present your successful results.
If you regularly demonstrate success in all the responsibilities above, you can be assured that you will be a valued employee and success will definitely come your way if you plan and aim higher.
Why Is Responsibility Thought Of As A Burden?
“To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.” ― Patrick Ness
There are a number of reasons some people avoid responsibility:
- If you’re in a position of responsibility, you’ll make decisions –some of these may be unpopular. As a result, decision-makers often have to develop a thick skin. You should always give reasons why you’ve taken the steps you took – this is to illustrate you’ve taken them for the right reasons. Being open about everything means it will be much easier to deal with any negativity that may come your way as a result.
- Some people just don’t like to delegate. They feel they have to trust others for things they’re responsible for, and don’t like handing over that trust. But you’re only delegating actions to others. You’re still the one who is ultimately accountable.
- Despite the best efforts and preparation things can still go wrong, and people will look for someone to blame. Being the one who is accountable means you’re the easiest target. However, if mistakes happen the first time, they’re much less likely to occur when you try the same thing again. Lessons will be learned, and these can be put into practice in the future.
While this all sounds rather daunting, bear in mind that those who welcome responsibility find they have tremendous job satisfaction, and enjoy interesting and varied work experiences.
Also remember that you will have been given responsibility for a reason – you’ve clearly displayed the skills and attributes that mean you cope well.
Relish The Roles Of Responsibility
“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” ― Adrienne Rich
When next faced with responsibility for a role or task, these top tips will help you perform well and enjoy the challenges that come with it:
Identify your daily routine. Think of your day to day life, and make a list of things considered to be responsibilities. Then, write next to each item little notes such as “crucial” and “important” for tasks that must be completed, or “minor” for tasks that could be put off, if needed. Some things may be important or non-important according to your personal views, but don’t put off events you can’t escape. Making this list will help you become more organized and help you use your time wisely to get what needs to be done out of the way (thus showing more responsibility).
Work Ethic and Character. Some people could care less about their work product. However, people with solid work ethic and character take responsibility for the work they do. They demonstrate a willingness to not only ensure the job is done, but also accept responsibility for the results — good or bad. They take their assigned duties seriously and go the extra mile to make sure the work is the best that it can be. When you have character and are accountable, you recognize that the quality of your work is also a representation of you.
Plan. When you have your list made, go though all the events marked “important” and think about where they’ll fit into your day. Determine how long each task will take and what materials you may need to help complete it. Organize a chain of events in the order of importance, and go for it!
Accept! It may not always be easy to complete your goals, or turn past mistakes around. The reality that you might have to accept is that you can’t do it all alone. So find someone you trust and ask for help! Anyone who tries to hold you back or bring you down is not helping, and simply ignoring them and sticking with your goals is the most responsible thing that you could do.
Use your resources. If you don’t have the tools you need, you might not be able to reach some goals. But don’t give up right then and there; be a problem solver! Invest in certain things you want. A little brain power may save you some stress and time.
Be truthful. If you’ve made promises, keep them! Don’t make promises you know you may not be able to keep: this is very irresponsible. Even if it’s not a promise, if you said you’d do something, then just do it. That’s just being a good friend.
Is Responsibility and Accountability Part Of You?
“Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.” ― Hubert Selby Jr.
When you were hired for a job, you were provided with a list of your duties, also known as responsibilities. You were also made aware that it is your job to ensure the tasks on the list are completed when due. While you can be assigned a variety of responsibilities, whether or not you are accountable depends on your character. A person who demonstrates accountability takes the hit if s/he doesn’t complete the task on schedule. When you refuse to be accountable, you’ll place the blame on someone else for the project’s failure.
Always aspire to be responsible and accountable?
Lest we forget: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL