There is a problem rampant in the world.
Refusal to take ownership.
I run across it daily in my professional life. People refuse to take ownership of their actions.
“I didn’t do that.”
“I can’t do that.”
“It is the company.”
“It isn’t me, it’s the business.”
I always want to shout through the phone or through the office.
I run across this in my private life. People who refuse to accept the responsibility for their actions. Always blaming it on the next person never on themselves.
I am a take responsibility kind of person.
I take ownership of the projects, work, and information provided to me by my company. I consider that the most important function of my job. Knowing what or how or who needs what.
I have been this way in my personal life also. I don’t have the attitude that my circumstances aren’t based as a result of every decision I have made to date.
Life is a result of every choice made each and every day.
Take ownership of your reality.
Your professional life is the result of the choices you make day in and day out.
Take ownership of this!
The other night I watched “The Iron Lady,” the movie about Margaret Thatcher, and I started thinking to myself about the lack of leaders who take ownership. Do we have a strong leader out there like her? I am too young to know if she took ownership of her failures in life before she was out of the public eye, but the film made it appear as though she did.
Do we have some person who has made choice after choice to do what is best, even if it’s not what’s easy?
Do we have leaders who take ownership of not only their triumphs but of their failures?
As a politician Mrs. Thatcher made the choices to serve her country before herself or her family. It made her relationships difficult, but look at the mark she left on the world.
Right now what do we know of the men running for the highest office in our land?
We know that one…they do not take ownership of their failures.
Like most politicians they gladly own their successes but how often have they said, “This was my choice. I did this. I’m sorry for the result, but it seemed like the best option at the time.”
At least not to my knowledge.
Maybe they do in the quiet confines of their offices, but they pay people to spin the story.
A good PR person can be worth their weight in gold if the problem is of their own doing.
Pay the media and they will do or say whatever you want them to. Befriend them and shower them with gifts. It may not be the ethical approach but it gets you the results you need.
Why is it so hard for people to say – “I messed up”?
I messed up and there is nothing that can be done about it except try to accept and learn from the failure.
I know why too. I know the answer to this question.
Because people are afraid of failure. They would rather lay blame elsewhere than accept failure for their poor decisions.
But like I said I am a person who takes ownership, to my detriment I assure you on many occasions.
Professionally I have only been fired from one job. Why?
I accepted responsibility for a mistake made by several because I should have seen it. I should have recognized it. It didn’t matter that it was in my training period with the company and the export forwarder from China sent me the wrong information. It also didn’t matter that my trainer and our supervisor were both actively involved in the shipments. What mattered is that I had three typos on a shipment release and it cost the company money.
But you want know something? I’m okay with this. I learned a lesson about trust and leadership. (Not to mention double and triple checking my work.)
What did I learn about leadership?
I learned that people make mistakes and you shouldn’t judge their future based on one mistake. A true leader looks at the potential.
I learned that you should take ownership of your choices – no matter the result. A true leader knows that they will make good and bad choices and accepts it.
I learned that in a corporate environment you can’t trust your coworkers when they feel you are competition. They would just as soon throw you under the bus than admit their own faults.
We all have faults. We are human. We are not expected to be perfect nor can we be perfect. If you set that as your expectation you will fail every time.
Rather set your expectations on ownership. Can you effect change or results in any given situation based simply on the choices you make?
If the answer is yes, then do it.
If the answer is no, then find someone who can and let it be theirs.
We can’t all end hunger or feed nations, but we can accept that we can do our part.
I think it is time for our leaders to accept ownership of the condition of the nation, the successes and the failures.
I think it’s time for citizens to accept their circumstances.
Regardless of what is happening you can change them.
I changed mine.
If I can change mine – you can change yours.
All it takes is making the choice.