Archive for November, 2013

Building a High Performance Culture Part VII

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Words that Work: Responsible

In this seventh post on building a high performance culture I want to discuss a word that works, responsible. Taking responsibility must start at the top of an organization, with leaders willing to renounce blame, look in the mirror and take responsibility for their results.

For a quick review of this series, I’ve presented the following words that work, and words that hurt, in the past six blog posts to help you weave into your culture the right concepts, values and mindsets and help you identify and weed out those that are harmful.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

To use in a sentence: It’s not my fault I had a bad month. In other words, I’m a victim.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Responsible is defined as: to be the primary cause of something. Perhaps Rudy Giuliani said it best with a sign in his office during his years as mayor of New York City:

“I don’t deserve the credit for all that goes right during my term, nor do I deserve the blame for all that goes wrong. But I am still responsible for the results of my office.”

Taking responsibility means focusing more on what you can control, than whining about conditions you cannot affect. Leaders who take responsibility teach their people to do likewise, just as leaders who make excuses give their people a permission slip to become victims and rationalize away their lack of greater success.

In a world where blame is pervasive; starting at the very top of our government and permeating all aspects of society, taking responsibility is a sure way to stand out, earn respect, build self-esteem and become a leader others trust enough to follow anywhere.