Tag Archives: responsibility

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workplace responsibility

Workplace Responsibility Starts with Owning the Work

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It’s the big aggravation, trying to figure out what went wrong. Does your team accept workplace responsibility?

When there is a fender bender (or worse) on the corner of 4th and Main onlookers want to know who is responsible. The same is true for delayed products or services, poor customer interactions, and why quality has declined.

Much of the acceptance begins with purpose, the why of what you do. It is also connected with the concept of ownership. Not necessarily formally, but the informal aspect. Who is engaged enough to be accountable for this outcome?

Most people care about something. Their family, the car, rent, or the house payment. Perhaps it is their own image or reputation.

The psychology of work is not really about the paycheck. Yet, that is always a part of it.

Should it be something more?

Workplace Responsibility

Responsibility is about the psychological connections to the work. Yes, it is about a feeling.

People often start off on the right foot. Something new, something exciting, or that big chance to make an impact or difference. Sadly, it often deteriorates to something less.

The feeling may become, the workplace doesn’t care about me, so I don’t care about the workplace. Translation, I don’t give a crap about what goes on here. Where is my paycheck?

It’s an easy trap for management. Easy because they sometimes lack interpersonal relationships. They measure accomplishment and success not by the effort of the people but by the results on the spreadsheet. The human side is off balance or missing completely.

One of the objectives of leadership should be connected to the people. Connected to building and nurturing relationships that create a united effort to accomplish the mission.

In the smallest company to the largest that is probably how it all started. A person or persons who cared enough to build a product or service worthy of being replicated.

It is easy to hide from responsibility.

Encourage ownership. Ownership is not a title or a matter of fact. It is about a feeling. Instead of removing all of the emotion, encourage it.

Responsibility comes from people who care.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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responsible coach

Responsible Coach And The Engaged Trainee

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Are you a responsible coach? Are you serving as a mentor, a coach, or a teacher?

In your workplace role do you find yourself feeling responsible to help guide, motivate, or teach others?

Professional coaches spend decades honing their craft. They are in it to make a difference. Much of their inspiration develops from seeing the results in others.

Is it possible that the coach cares more than the trainee?

Making a Difference

Both formally and informally many workplace professionals find themselves assigned to help others. Is it working? Are you making a difference?

It is difficult to feed those who are not hungry. You can set a table full of delicious and nutritious food in front of them, yet, they’ll not indulge.

Is the food terrible or are they just not hungry?

It is true for most things in life. As a general rule, people will only participate fully when they feel the need or have the desire.

Someone who doesn’t want to learn, or see a need to learn, probably won’t learn very much.

Weight loss, exercise, or healthy eating, will mostly come from those who have some desire or a feeling of necessity to create the outcome. Very limited desire yields very limited results.

A Motivation Coach

Can you motivate as a coach? Absolutely, you can. The question often becomes, “For how long?”

Remove the stimulus and you may see the results dwindle.

One role of the coach is to help the person stay accountable. Yet, you likely cannot provide oversight every minute, of every day.

Often, this circles back to the trainee having or developing some level of self-motivation for the cause.

It seems that there must be a level of commitment from the trainee.

What is the responsibility of the coach?

Responsible Coach

Remember that coaches often gain their own satisfaction or inspiration from helping others succeed. A coached person or trainee who lacks the commitment to the cause may not accomplish much.

The responsible coach may show the path, guide, teach, and even motivate. Yet, they can’t be held accountable to helping someone who consistently fails to do their part.

Be a good coach. Be a good trainee.

A responsible coach won’t waste his or her time.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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responsible work

Doing Responsible Work and Making a Difference

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Often the first step in the argument is the assignment of blame and the question of responsibility. Being a great employee, boss, or owner, often requires doing responsible work and serving as a role model for future efforts.

Are you a freedom seeker? A set your own schedule and do your own thing kind of person?

The Illusion of Freedom

Did you show up for work on time? Prepare for the meeting, arrive a little early, open your mind for the possibilities? Are you holding yourself accountable or expecting accountability only when someone asks?

People dream of being their own boss. They consider the idea that entrepreneurship or leading the team sets them free. Free to do as they please, when they want, and they’ll decide how fast it will happen.

Largely the work of this type of dreamer is an illusion. Often it is illustrated by get rich quick and get freedom now schemes on social media. Strategies that are more pyramid in nature or cloaked in the multilevel marketing philosophy. Buyer beware.

Responsible Work

The work of successful freedom seekers comes with a catch. The catch is that they are more responsible and accountable than ever.

An employee who sets their own schedule or who maps out their own job is not only responsible for the work, but they are on the hook for the outcomes too. Self-designed and self-managed means even greater proof of performance.

It is also true for the entrepreneur. Every customer has some demand, expectation, and specialized need. There is not one boss, but many.

Making a difference and doing responsible work go hand in hand.

The assumption that there is freedom from a strict schedule, the micromanaging supervisor, or forced overtime is often an illusion.

Success comes with a commitment to excellence. Success is an opportunity that you create.

That always means doing responsible work.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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leadership work

Leadership Work And What Many Avoid

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Do you like the idea of leadership? Does it get you motivated and positively fired up when you think about leading others? Leadership work may not be as easy or pain free as you think.

Leadership seems really attractive on the surface. Being the boss, having people look up to you, getting the recognition for team accomplishments. Some will quickly jump to the idea of increased pay. These and other aspects attract many.

Certainly, leadership is for everyone. Things like money and fame are not a requirement. Neither is having formal authority, yet it is often assumed.

Work Avoided

Workplace professionals will often mention to me that they dislike dealing with people issues. This is a significant part of leadership. It is not just about a title or some fame and glory, no matter how big or how small.

Leadership is people work. If you have formal authority, such as having direct reports, it means dealing with job performance, hiring, and sometimes firing.

Many so-called leaders don’t like that part. They don’t like the responsibility of managing others. As a result, they tend to avoid the people issues.

Others just hand out commands with great expectations. Reality is often in question.

This is exactly how we get what people often label, “poor leadership.”

Leadership Work

Leadership work takes guts, determination, and a commitment to excellence. It means doing the things that many others don’t like doing. It means working with people, not a dictatorship or authoritarian approach.

If you think leadership means you’re the boss and you tell others what to do, you are mostly wrong.

The true work of great leaders is as much artful as it is pragmatic.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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getting things done

2 Paths for Getting Things Done

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How do we get things done in the workplace? Should we push people, push systems, and use authority? Are you getting things done?

Organizational culture is driving what happens in your workplace. Is the culture supportive, or is it us against them?

Which Path?

One thought is that the authoritarian approach guides what happens next, or else, nothing happens. Without authority, without pushing, without using people as a tool, nothing happens. People will do little or nothing, they’ll wait.

This is the concept of, “because I said so.” This should beg a question though. The question becomes, “Is that the culture of leadership?” Unlikely.

Another pathway suggests that potential exists in everyone. Everyone can and should contribute. Instead of thinking about tackling work or challenges with an iron fist, we instead consider that properly empowered people will figure it out together.

This path believes that everyone has talent. This is how skills are developed, talent is grown, and leaders are made.

How will leadership utilize this resource?

Getting Things Done

One path ignites ownership, creates buy-in, and establishes responsibility. It is a natural system for accountability. It is an opportunity to recognize the potential that is in everyone and it highlights the potential of the team.

This culture pulls employee teams into action. There really isn’t a reason for push. Compelled by determination and responsibility teams will achieve.

In this system empowerment is the driver. It is a good way to get things done.

The other path suggests you wait to get picked. Dominance is about authority. Judgment of people happens based on their history, not the possibility for the future. Do as I say, not as I do. You’re never paid to think.

Every culture has a choice. Every choice metaphorically mortars another brick in the culture.

Make good choices because it is not only how things will get done, it is also how things will get built.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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bad data

The Consequences of Bad Data

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A data driven society? Yes, it’s likely we can apply that label. If we have a data driven society what happens when we have bad data?

As I write this, it is winter. Early February, in Pennsylvania. We’ve recently had some very cold temperatures, snow, and of course, ice.

In the winter months I mostly drive my 20-year-old Tahoe. Winter roads in the Northeast are not kind to vehicle life. I’m thankful for my Tahoe. It’s a trusty rusty machine.

Bad Data

Yesterday, it was around 60 degrees. Snow and ice melting rapidly. I jumped in my Tahoe to proceed to an event. Inside the vehicle it felt so warm, I had to crack a window.

Once underway and rolling down the highway, I glanced to my rearview mirror where there is a digital thermostat. It was displaying minus 36 Fahrenheit, then minus 37, eventually hitting minus 40. Should I trust these numbers?

At the event, I overheard people discussing the local temperature. Comparing the past week, to the current week. Funny how many different temperatures were being reported. Are these facts?

During the event, there was additional information exchanged. Opinions shared, research claimed, materials produced, and notes taken. People processing data.

In a recent workforce meeting I attended, an organization cited an employee turnover ratio of 56 percent. I thought, it must be incorrect, perhaps a decimal problem, or some other error. I asked, “Is there a decimal problem?” The answer was, “No.” Good thing I asked.

Part of the Solution

Our workplaces are often outlined and highlighted with data. Numbers, reports, infographics, facts, opinions, statistics, and presentations.

Be careful with your data. Know what you are presenting. Do appropriate research. We can be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution.

Everyone has a responsibility with data.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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understanding accountability

Understanding Accountability Changes Your Position

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We often wonder about accountability. Is it the missing link for teams? Does it affect morale? Understanding accountability has much more to do with success than many employees realize.

Nobody is held accountable.

It wasn’t my responsibility.

That’s not my job. 

You have probably heard all three, and have likely said at least one. Is this a problem with accountability?

Who is Responsible?

Accountability has a direct impact on culture. If few are willing to take responsibility, even fewer will be accountable.

Responsibility is a big job. There is much more risk involved with being responsible. Without responsibility no one really cares when the project gets delivered. No one cares about the quality, and why should anyone care about the customer?

The root of accountability starts with responsibility. A bad outcome may not be your mistake. It may not be your fault, that doesn’t mean you’re not responsible.

Unlearning the Escape

As children we may have gotten off the hook by claiming, “It wasn’t my fault!” We learned that when the blame shifts so does the responsibility. When we aren’t responsible we can’t be blamed.

It may have worked in your childhood because playing was probably more important than leading. You were fed and cared for regardless of the outputs of your actions.

Ready to make a difference in your career? Understanding accountability is critical for your advancement. It is critical for culture.

Understanding Accountability

Certainly, you can take more than one path. What you’ll need to realize though is that taking responsibility, even when it is not your fault, is being accountable.

When you are in a leadership role, you have responsibilities. Hold yourself accountable.

If you supervise other employees, lead committees, or make recommendations that guide outcomes, understand that people who accept responsibility will be much more likely to be accountable.

Accountability changes your position.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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volunteering

Volunteering and a Promise Kept

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Enthusiasm is a great thing. Most workplaces praise those who are enthusiastic. Are you volunteering for things you cannot deliver? Are you just hanging out or are you offering to constructively jump in and get things done?

Fresh Enthusiasm

Sometimes it is in the heat of the moment. You hear the new idea, you feel the fresh enthusiasm and you want to be an integral part of building something great. In fact, you may see it as a legacy building moment. Something you can get your good name attached to.

Being on the committee or team means you have a responsibility. Certainly some of your responsibility is to help make good decisions and drive future direction. Do you volunteer for action items that spark your interest and imagination? Are you one of the first to raise your hand, or are you the last?

Showing up at the meeting is important and being on time helps. Being the person who jumps in to offer assistance, to volunteer, or to shout out that you’ll lead is great. Are you able to keep that commitment?

Unspoken List

There is often an unspoken but lengthy list of volunteers who offered to help, expressed a deep commitment, and after a short burst of activity, they failed to keep things moving.

If you want to lose credibility, breakdown trust, and tarnish your reputation, failing to perform after you’ve promised is a fool proof method.

Volunteering

When you view yourself on the podium, picture yourself getting the praise, or leaving a legacy that shapes the future it seems like a good idea to raise your hand. You may even be thinking about a monetary increase or job promotion. This is the fun and easy part.

The hard part is actually making it happen. When it comes to volunteering keeping your promise is more critical than most people realize.

Did you keep your last promise?

– DEG

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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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.

– DEG

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Take responsibility

Leadership Habit 49: Give or Take Responsibility

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A common leadership and supervisory practice is to assign responsibility. One of the problem areas for many people in a supervisory or management role is holding others accountable. In your role, whether supervisory or not, do you give, or take responsibility?

In the earliest years of my career, I can remember telling my boss at the time that I craved responsibility. Looking back, what I probably really meant is that I wanted to be in control. It is funny how we mature and grow. I smile thinking about that time in my life.

Oversight and Metrics

Assigning responsibility and holding yourself and team members accountable are an important part of leadership. Some organizations and cultural philosophies are loose and don’t have many metrics or measurements. Others live, breathe, or die, by extensive oversight through measurements.

Metrics and measurements are important, but we may pause and ask, “For whom?” The best answer may be, “For everyone.” The reality of how this shakes out in organizational psychology may position things a little differently.

You can certainly give or assign responsibility. Many in the workforce wait patiently to be provided with the next task. When they aren’t provided, they aren’t productive. Often they will just wait.

These people only follow. This isn’t necessarily bad, it may be about style, respect, or in some cases a lack of motivation.

Successful organizations today probably need more leaders. That isn’t the same as more chiefs, but more people with high initiative and who jump in and get things started and finished.

Take Responsibility

There is a different story about responsibility though. Responsibility often isn’t about giving. Responsibility may be more about taking.

When someone is nervous or afraid of the big task in front of them, we may say, “You’ve got this!” Of course, the desirable affect is to inspire confidence and commitment to the task in front of them. This often works, but it is much different from them saying, “I’ve got this!”

In the workplace, or in life, people can give responsibility. However, success is much more likely when people take it.

– DEG

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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