I have often wondered about that phrase: “Taking responsibility”. How do you actually take responsibility? There was a time early in my leaderhsip journey when I thought that simply accepting blame for anything and everything was taking responsibility. To a certain degree that might be true, but now my understanding of responsibility is: accepting the consequences for whatever I am willing to personally change. I don’t beleive that taking the blame for something just to take the pressure off someone else is necessarily taking responsibility for what went wrong. If, however, you help the person at fault think through what happened and why, to help them learn from the failure, that is taking responsibility for the situation.
That brings us to the topic at hand: how do you take responsibility for your life? How do you get started? How do you know what you’re doing right and what needs to change?
1. Taking responsibility for your life starts with not being okay with the results that you’re getting, if they’re not what you want. First you need to know what you want out of life. Take some time and write a paragraph or two defining what success looks like in each of the 8 f”s (faith, family, fitness, freedom, finances,friends,following, and fun). Only after defining what success looks like in each category will you be able to guage where you are and what needs to improve.
2. Once you have success defined, evaluate in which areas you’re strong and in which areas you need to improve. This can be as simple as rating yourself in each category using a scale of 1-10. It may also be helpful to have your spouse, your children, a friend, or mentor rate you as well. This can help avoid any self-delusions about your own greatness in a category. Who knows, maybe you’re alot better in a category than you think.
3. Now that you know where you need to work, go to work. Set goals, gameplan, and PDCA your progress. Which of the 8 f’s are you going to start with? Start reading in that category and get some audios to listen to in your car and at work. What’s your first goal going to be?
Get started. Now that you’ve defined what you want, developed a gameplan, and have figured out a way to measure your results it’s time to do it. That is how you take responsibility for your life, by planning your life of excellence. You can do it. Stick with it, success takes time.