100% of the Responsibility Pie

I hope you spent some time this past week recognizing some of your self-sustaining behaviors and adding additional behaviors where you feel or see a lack.

This week we will discuss how effective leaders take 100% responsibility. This may sound like a very tall order given that there are so many things in life and business that are completely out of our control.  Yet, good leaders understand that they are ultimately responsible.

An easy analogy to use is pie (Mmm Pie 😉). Many people think of a single project as one pie divided into multiple pieces. Each piece is then assigned to a contributor who is responsible for helping to complete that project. With the 100% responsibility model, imagine if one project had many pies and each individual contributor had their own pie that they were 100% responsible for. If something goes wrong or RIGHT, that person can look at their role in the process and hold themselves completely accountable for the outcome.

This mindset is particularly useful when it comes to conflict resolution or when a project has resulted in less than an optimal outcome. So what does 100% responsibility look like in this example? It would require you to take an introspective look at your role and contributions to the project and ask yourself what you did to cause the issue. As if you were 100% responsible and that there are no other parties to blame. This requires transparency and vulnerability and helps to identify what you can do better to solve or avoid the issue in the future. Trying to compete, create excuses or point blame at others are not qualities of a conscious and effective leader. 

The other thing to keep in mind is that true responsibility and accountability is not assigned, it is taken. Anyone on the team can adopt this behavior, regardless of title. We sometimes think that in our role, as perhaps an individual contributor, we have no authority to take this kind of action.  However, “authority” comes when one has demonstrated responsible behavior even without the official designation. We can all adopt a radical responsibility mindset which will shift our attitude and behavior.

This week, start thinking about how you contribute to the outcomes related to your team, department, division and organization. 

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