Accountability breeds response-ability.
As managers we are confronted by problems every day and often these problems cannot be solved because of our mental attitude of how we approach the problem. Who is taking responsibility for contributing to fixing the problem? Who is making excuses?
There is HUGE difference between excuses and reasons. Are you or one of your staff the road block to solving the problem or managing the issues?
I believe much of the problem lies with our attitude and is what I call the concept of above and below the line thinking.
Taking Responsibility Or Choosing Excuses And Blame?
“The Line” is the parallel divider that separates our character elements.
Acting above the line is a powerful life skill that puts into practice the act of ownership; taking responsibility and being accountable for your actions. Here the word Responsibility is the very important word.
On the other hand, acting below the line , our lives become circumstance-driven. And they include the characteristics of laying blame; denial and making excuses.
Excuses are NOT reasons. They don’t solve the issues, nor promote responsibility and usually cause frustration. The more frequent they are, the worse it gets, for everyone involved.
In denial, we are committing yet another below the line action “I didn’t do it”. This response is ineffective and creates frustrations in others. That also makes you appear unreliable and dishonest. Long term consequences can be a disaster that can no longer be fixed easily. Addressing it early makes recovery much easier.
Far too common in organisations and businesses is a “Laying blame” mentality. We hear it with politicians, CEOs and others. It is a demonstration of our willingness NOT to be accountable or responsible for our actions. How can effective teamwork happen in such a context?
Recognising Victims And Victors
What are the 5 common characteristics of victims?
– Victims let things happen to them
– They do not take control
– They are pessimistic
– Victims find reasons Why Not
– They always appear tired and stressed
When we choose to act above the line , we are being a response-ability person. That is taking responsibility for our performance and showing we have the ability to be responsible). This powerful skill is defined as having the ability to respond (that is be pro-active).
What are the 5 common characteristics of victors?
– Victors have a response-ability attitude
– They have choices and freedoms
– They are optimistic
– Victors find reasons to get things done
– They are energetic and engaging
Acting and living above the line , you take responsibility for your own life, business or career. In doing so, you begin to have greater control because you stop blaming things outside yourself for your current situation.
Turning The Situation Around
Years ago I was in a business where a senior manager always came up with excuses about poor business performance and denied there was a problem. You can image how frustrating it was for me and it began to affect my work performance and emotional state. I was blaming him rather than taking ownership for my performance. I decided to take responsibility for business performance and this filtered down the organisation to others, making them responsible and energised their performance.
Taking Responsibility is being able to respond to the events that happen in our lives. That is taking control of what circumstances come into and out of your life instead of sitting back and accepting things that happen to you.
When you take action, you make life happen FOR YOU ………… NOT TO YOU and it energises you!
I mentioned one specific experience involving me directly, but other situations resulting into satisfying turn-arounds come to my mind.
I am sure that you too can think of situations where the performance of a team, or organisation, has been turned around when at least one of its members made the conscious decision of changing attitude, from victim to victor?
Why not share those examples here in the comments box? Participating actively rather than being a passive reader is another example of acting above the line .
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