A charter of personal responsibility

personal responsibility

Increasingly we live in a society where blame is frequently laid at the wrong person’s door, i.e. someone else’s rather than our own.

Far better surely, to sue your company for tripping over the front door step than slap yourself on the wrists for not looking where you were going, far easier to sue the lawyer when you don’t get the transaction at a price you had foolishly set your heart on, and far easier to blame the sales appointment maker when your sales meeting didn’t go the way you wanted.

But if schools, parents and government don’t focus often enough on the importance of taking personal responsibility, that doesn’t mean that employers shouldn’t.

If having staff take personal responsibility for everything they do and everything they say would benefit your business, then why not start including sessions on this in new employee inductions, lunch and learn sessions, coaching and all staff training?

You could even consider making personal responsibility the backbone of your culture. And what a difference that would make over the years to your bottom line!

I’m sure you can come up with your own internal training and communication docs but if you’re interested, here is my (rather bullish) 10 step charter of personal responsibility:

  1. If you don’t have the courage or confidence to speak up, know and accept that your views simply can’t and won’t be taken into consideration.
  2. If you lie and get found out, know and accept that the consequences you suffer as a result are no one’s fault but your own.
  3. If you bully someone and then they make a complaint against you, know and accept that you really had it coming.
  4. If you trip over a hazard that you have walked over ten times before, know and accept that you failed both yourself and others when you chose to just step over before.
  5. When an error is noticed in your work, know and accept that that is your responsibility to correct and that energy expended in finding others to blame for your errors is just a frustrating waste of everyone’s time.
  6. Know that when work you have delegated to someone else is not done, that that was your failure to properly support or manage them after delegating to them. Perhaps you confused ‘delegating’ with ‘dumping’?
  7. When your career isn’t progressing as you wanted, know and accept that whilst others may be there to support you, full responsibility for your career will always lie with you, you are not your manager’s son or daughter so stop being precious and expecting him/her to nurture you.
  8. If your work ethic and attitude is lousy, know and accept that one day that will impact your earnings, your popularity and the opportunities that come your way. It might even get you the sack one day.
  9. If you’re feeling under the weather at work on a Friday or Monday, know and accept that your social life excesses are now impacting your work and that they will, at some point, jeopardise your employment prospects, your family and possibly your health too.
  10. Know that in the workplace laziness, under assertiveness, aggression, low self esteem, selfishness, and dishonesty all bring consequences and when things go wrong, the first person you should look to is yourself … what could I have done more if, what could I have done differently, what should I have recognised and dealt with earlier, and what if I had chosen a different attitude that day?

Thoughts, ideas all welcomed of course.

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