Sunday, December 15, 2013

Of assumed responsibility at the workplace

Responsibility, the word's definition goes thus : a duty to be in charge of someone or something, so that you make decisions and can be blamed if something bad happens

I remember reading in an article recently that responsibility is the word most often used by people in their résumé. Responsibility is also what most people, ironically speaking, shy away from at their workplace. These are the people who can be easily identified when they say, 

  1. I am not responsible for this. Mr X is. Please talk to Mr. X
  2. Actually, you are the one responsible for this. So, you must take this up and drive it.
  3. I cannot take decisions here. Mr. X has to. You need to present this proposal to him. 
 Taking responsibility means having the courage to take ownership; it means putting your foot forward when required;  it also means understanding that we are accountable to achieve something and that it will have an impact on the larger scheme of things. It is the first step toward demonstrating leadership. After all, leadership means having the ability to decide and having the courage to believe in the wisdom of your decision.

This is where assumed responsibility comes in. To me, it means that I decide what I am responsible for and I fully understand the implications of the same. Somebody else cannot tell me 'You are responsible for driving topic X to closure'. I am not, unless I assume that responsibility which implies that I won't be able to drive X to closure just because someone tells me unless I tell myself.

One can perform several notches better than how one is expected to perform only by assuming more responsibility than  what one's boss entrusts one with. In the end, the benchmarks we set for ourselves should be against our own selves. Nothing else matters.

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