Friday, December 7, 2012

Taking Responsibility

“What piece of this issue or opportunity has your name written on it.”  -  Susan Long, author of 'Fierce Conversations'

Here is a thought experiment.  Consider the common situations below, for which people very often think they have no responsibility :

  1. One of your employees is performing well below expectations...
  2. A new customer onboarding process was botched...
  3. You don't have time for a quarterly strategic summit with your key leaders...
  4. 15 minutes after scheduling a golf game this Saturday you learned that your kid has a baseball game at that same time..
  5. It is 5:15PM. Everyone else has left the office, but you'll be there until 8:30PM (and this is nothing new)...
  6. Your largest customer ran a promotion on your best-selling product and just wiped-out your entire inventory...

Now consider the completion of the scenarios above:
  1. ...and you have not completed a performance review in 2 years for any of your direct reports.
  2. ...and you have known for some time that there is no regular interdepartmental coordination meeting for this process.
  3. ...because your calendar is full of 'urgent' fires that have to be fought day-to-day.
  4. ...but you never share your calendar with your spouse or significant other because you don't like being 'checked-on.'
  5.'ve never asked yourself, "why am I so busy and the people that work for me are not?"
  6. ...and your operational staff does not interact with customers
It's easy to chalk up shoddy performance  and missed opportunities to 'things that just happen in life', but the truth is that we have more control over those things than we are comfortable admitting. 

Consider writing down 2 or 3 things that went wrong in the last couple of weeks and ask yourself Susan Scott's question, "What piece of this issue/opportunity has my name on it?"

You can access Susan Scott's blog here. Take the time to do so, you'll be glad you did.

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