The Responsibility Process®

Much of what you know about leadership and personal responsibility is about to be disrupted

The Responsibility Process, derived from field studies, shows how all people mentally process thoughts about avoiding or taking responsibility. It is the core of The Leadership Gift™.

Awareness of The Responsibility Process provides a framework for learning by individuals, teams, and organizations. It is the first how-to model for taking, teaching, and inspiring personal responsibility – the #1 principle of success in any endeavor.

Responsibility Owning your ability and power to create, choose, and attract
Quit Giving up to avoid the pain of Shame and Obligation
Obligation Doing what you have to instead of what you want to
Shame Laying blame onto oneself (often felt as guilt)
Justify Using excuses for things being the way they are
Lay Blame Holding others at fault for causing something
Denial Ignoring the existence of something

TRP Example

No one thinks about personal responsibility when things go well

When something goes wrong large or small (for example, lost keys or a lost retirement account), The Responsibility Process kicks in. The mind offers Lay Blame as a reason. If you accept blame as a sufficient reason, then you will act on that blame. If you don't accept it, then your mind offers you an excuse (Justify). And so on. Thus taking personal responsibility is a step-wise process of refusing to act on a series of irresponsible thoughts that your mind offers up.

  • Responsibility is not just a character trait/flaw. It's a mental process operating identically in everyone
  • The process can be observed, learned, taught, studied, developed, modeled, and practiced
  • Any willing individual, team, or organization can practice responsibility at ever higher levels 
  • The Responsibility Process is most useful when self-applied. It backfires when used to Lay Blame on others.

Unlocking and mastering The Responsibility Process®

The Keys to Responsibility™, i.e., to unlocking and mastering responsibility, through daily practice are:

  1. INTENTION – Intending to respond from Responsibility when things go wrong.
  2. AWARENESS – Catching yourself in the mental states of Denial, Lay Blame, Justify, Shame, Obligation, and Quit.
  3. CONFRONT – Facing yourself to see what is true that you can learn, correct, or improve.

Try it

Use the form (top right) to download, print, and post a copy of The Responsibility Process poster where you will see it frequently. It will surprise you how seeing it supports your intention, your awareness, and even your ability to confront. Try it.


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