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job responsibility

Job Responsibility, Is It Given or Taken?

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You have a job to do, is that job responsibility given or taken? This can be a little confusing, and some may argue a point either way.

Given or Taken

Imagine you are about to walk into a meeting with a large contract in hand, or maybe you are about to present a 50 page report to the board of directors, or perhaps launch your new start-up. Was any of that work assigned to you? Was it assigned as your responsibility?

As you are about to step into the metaphorical spotlight, did you tell yourself, “I’ve got this!” Sure, a few friends or a co-worker may have backed you up with, “You’ve got this,” but ultimately you have to take responsibility.

It is interesting sometimes to think about what you assign to yourself as compared with what is assigned by others. Not surprising when you stop to think about it, responsibility can be given, but it also must be taken.

Take Responsibility

In our workplace, the secret may not be about assigning responsibility but it may be more about taking it. If fact, this is applicable in all aspects of life.

Certainly, teams are important, but often someone has to take the shot. We see it in basketball, ice hockey, soccer and many other sports. Who calls that shot?

In the baseball game, we may have the second baseman and an outfielder both running for the catch. What do they yell? If you believe you have the catch, you typically call it. One doesn’t stand back and shout, “You’ve got it, I’ll watch.”

Job Responsibility

In your job, your gift may be taking responsibility. You take it first, you take it the most, and if necessary, you back up someone else who is in the process of taking it. It may still be a team effort, but someone often has to step up.

Someone may assign you job responsibilities, but you still have to take them.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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