When taking command of my first Army unit, my battalion commander told me:
“Captain, your responsibilities are simple, you are responsible for everything that does or does not happen in your unit.”
No excuses, no deflecting blame to someone in my unit, no dodging responsibilities. As the leader of the unit – I was responsible – period.
Excuses and leadership don’t go together.
Responsibility and duty do go together with leadership.
Being a leader means you are responsible for your team – period.
This is an excellent article from Harvard Business Review that illustrates how important it is for you to take responsibility for your career and job security. Here are the first two paragraphs from the article:
Mark was a survivor. Until he was fired in 2012, six months shy of his 50thbirthday, he’d done everything right — rising through the ranks of the book publishing industry, from editorial assistant to associate editor to senior editor, then into management as an editor-in-chief. But as e-books and Amazon destabilized the industry, and waves of consolidation contracted available jobs, Mark (not his real name) admits today that he hadn’t “paid attention to the writing on the wall.” He confessed that he’d spent the 18 months prior to being fired living in denial as his team was reorganized. “Despite that,” he says, “I clung to my job rather than start thinking about how to leave. At that point, I couldn’t conceive of a life outside of the confines of corporate publishing, of not being at the center of the club I’d been a part of — and a star in — since the age of 21.”
Mark’s story is a cautionary tale for us all. In my experience, Mark’s kind of wishful thinking — that things will sort themselves out on their own — rarely works out. Not taking action has costs that can be as consequential as taking risks; it’s simply less natural to calculate and pay attention to the “what-ifs” of inaction. In today’s marketplace, where jobs and job categories are being destroyed and invented at an accelerating rate, I’d argue that the riskiest move one can make is to assume that your industry or job is secure. Just ask former employees of Countrywide, British Petroleum, or Newsweek if you doubt me. Former Chief Talent Officer of Netflix, Patty McCord, says that companies should stop lying to people about their job security, because there’s simply no such thing.
You have to be actively managing your career and not leave that to others – in the nonprofit world just as much as in the for profit world.
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.
Take responsibility for your life in a proactive and intentional manner!