5 ways sincere leaders promote IRResponsibility:
- Help too soon. You tell people they aren’t responsible when you rush in to save the day. (You also suggest they aren’t capable.)
- Protect people from consequences. Don’t hang people out to dry – expect them to make things right.
- Nag, hover, and micro-manage.
- Tolerate patterns of poor performance.
- Overreact to failure. People learn to cover up when you blow up.
Responsible team members:
- Know their behaviors matter. Irresponsible people don’t care if they discourage or disadvantage others. Those who feel they don’t matter, don’t feel responsible.
- Take action without asking permission, after clarifying their role and responsibility.
- Make themselves accountable – don’t need to be pressured.
- Seek help without transferring accountability to their helpers.
- Establish their own reminders.
- Don’t expect others to pick up their slack.
- Face the music without blame or excuse. Responsible leaders share their failures without apology because they get up, rather than give up.
- Rise to challenges, thoughtfully.
- Let you know when they’re in over their heads. Responsible people don’t fake it at the expense of performance.
- Choose values over convenience. Responsible teammates act consistently, even when they don’t feel like it.
Responsibility inspires trust.
4 ways leaders promote REsponsibility:
- Acknowledge that we make ourselves responsible. Responsibility is self-imposed.
- Give responsibility, if you expect people to act responsibly.
- Delegate slowly. Don’t dump responsibility on untested team members.
- Create reporting and oversight structures when people are learning new skills.
Two questions that ignite responsibility:
Encourage people to explore what went wrong. Don’t offer quick solutions. Ask two responsibility questions.
#1. What would you like to do about that?
(Follow question #1 with silence.)
#2. What makes you think things will be different next time?
(Ask question #2 when future plans repeat past behaviors that didn’t work.)
How might leaders develop responsibility in others?