Perhaps this is the truest test of leadership there is. After all, an individuals ability to take responsibility for something certainly reveals something about them.
Maybe responsibility has different levels.
1st – either you are given or you take on the responsibility for a project or a task: how you handle that responsibility begins to reveal certain characteristics about you.
2nd – having responsibility for the task demands ownership of the task: how you answer the questions about the task reveal yet more characteristics about you.
3rd – you can delegate aspects of the task away but ultimately you are still responsible: how you hold onto the ‘ball’ reveals even more characteristics about you.
Responsibility – the willingness to handle it, own it and answer for it are incredible tests of a leaders success. If in questioning team members they are always giving you answers like…
‘It’s not my responsibility’ ‘That was not my job’ ‘Whats-his-name was doing that’
then they are failing the responsibility test and revealing a lack of maturity.
I have to make sure that I am consistent in my handling of responsibility and that I portray a great example myself. That is maturity. It is easy to complain and pass the buck, that’s why so many people do that. To stand the test of time as a leader and become increasingly influential, taking responsibility might hurt at times, especially when we get it wrong, but think about the rewards it can build – in you, in your team and in those around you.
Holding the Responsibility When its Yours = Maturity
Passing the Responsibility When its Yours = Immaturity