Leadership: Inspiring Responsibility

I’m convinced that as a whole subordinates will not practice responsibility at a higher level than the leadership to which they report. I believe this is true in business, education, and in the home.

So if your team, peers and subordinates aren’t stepping up to the level you expect of them, there might be something for *you* to take ownership for.

Responsibility begins with your thoughts

Remember, the practice of responsibility begins with either an innate or a learned understanding of the Responsibility Process, and then applying the 3 Keys for unlocking and mastering Responsibility:

  • Intention
  • Awareness
  • Confront

(Get detailed information on the Responsibility Process and 3 Keys to Responsibility)

bullseye331x239That makes this short poem of unknown attribution especially important to leaders of all types…

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
— Unknown

That’s why I’m supporting enlightened leaders through the Perfect Problem Breakthrough program, so they can expand their leadership power daily, achieve their potential, and see their organization’s energy constantly expanding.

But What About Obligation?

I had an interesting dialog Friday with a Perfect Problem Breakthrough participant. He asked whether any of the positions below Responsibility are more functional than other of the positions. For example: Is the mental position of Obligation a more functional position than Lay Blame or Shame?

My response was that there isn’t a clear answer for everyone in all cases. I teach that you are no more resourceful in your thought and action when you are in Obligation than you are when you are in Lay Blame. At the same time, since Obligation produces some level of  anxiety which can get you into motion and doing something about what you are supposed to do.

So I think this is a philosophical question that rests on how you define and measure “functional.” If you measure it as going to work and feeding your family even though you resent your job, that’s one thing. But if you define and measure it as using your talents to create, choose, and attract your reality, then it doesn’t appear any more functional than any other position.

Too Much Settling

I see a professional workplace full of well-educated, well-paid people who feel trapped in lives of Obligation. I call this the “Control Prison.” They have the title, the paycheck, the lease, the mortgage and the stress-related illness. And they are hanging on to all of it out of a sense of Obligation even though they are unhappy. They’ve settled for this thinking it is as good as it gets.

Question: How many of these types of leaders worked at Enron, at AIG, at GM, Chrysler, Bank of America, Ginnie Mae, etc. You get the picture.

Is it better to lead a life of quite obligation, doing as you are told. Or is it better to refuse that life and challenge yourself to learn, correct, and respond — to create, choose, and attract the life you want?

Just something to think about.

What do you think?

Posted in Leadership on 05/06/2009 11:00 am
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