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Radical Responsibility

2010/06/09 12:00 AM
By Jerry Browning,


JUNE 2010     

Jerry Browning, MS, LPC    Consultant and Coach

Success can be limited by many things, including our own approach and attitude. For any situation we can choose
to be a victim or a leader. Radical Responsibility is about being accountable for self and looking for ways to lead
ourselves, even in adversity.

While this sounds so simple it runs hard against the way we might have been developed. We might blame
someone else or something else for what is happening to us. Does any of this sound familiar?

• It’s not my fault.
• He did it.
• Don’t blame me.
• She’s the one who can’t seem to get anything done.

We may have grown up learning to blame others. It could have become part of daily living. Have we turned into
victims and whiners? Yet, the enlightened amongst us take responsibility for their actions and thoughts. In
organizations today we know the culture is really what the people in the company live. If the leaders display
responsibility it is more likely that others will take responsibility for themselves, their work, and the results. The
victim stance is one in which we look to another for power. We render ourselves helpless. With the declining
economy, some are distraught and distracted with high vulnerability to believe that everything lies in the hands of
someone else, not them. Some believe there is nothing they can do to change things.

Radical Responsibility is a positively contagious thing. People love being part of the action and energy that makes
positive change and results. The apathy of waiting for someone else to solve things is draining and creates weary
workers. To achieve a Radically Responsible culture may take an investment of time to bring about leader
consistency that fosters accountability. Old patterns may take some time to change. Taking accountability may
need to be learned, demonstrated, and discussed. It may take some out of their comfort zone. After all, it is a
passive position to blame others.

The following are included in developing Radical Responsibility:

1. Recognize Choices: Move away from old habits of believing there is nothing you can do. Learn to identify different options that
move you closer to what is desired. If you only see 2 choices, investigate deeper.
2. Challenge or Opportunity? Adversity is often the catalyst for needed change. Learn to find opportunity amidst challenge. What
could be better if it was different? How might I or anyone benefit?
3. Abundance or Lack? Shaping our view is important, and we can shape what we notice. If you are a ‘half-empty glass’ person, train
yourself to see what is there instead of what is not there. My grandmother would say, “Count your blessings.” The view of
abundance elicits strength and marshals energy. It is effective at work and at home and can replace old habits of complaining
about what is different. Give it a try next time you seem stuck in the negative.

Can you identify those leaders in your organization who are radically responsible?

What do they do to indicate their responsibility?

How do they instill responsibility in others?

How can you be more responsible and garner more success?

We are ready to explore this with you. We are expert consultants who know people and business.
Contact us today. █

Organizational & Individual Development ©2008.

Jerry Browning knows people and business. She founded Chiron Company to provide solutions that strengthen people and make healthy bottom lines for business. Amidst 25 years of work in leadership development, resource alignment for productivity, and conflict resolution -- her motto emerged as,
“Your success is my business.”