Your in Charge

Good times

Assign tasks and people will work for you. Assign responsibility and people will work for themselves.                                                                                       Simon Sinek

Every great experience develops as such because of a granting of responsibility.  As a camper on a backpack trip in my teens my group was given the responsibility of selecting the campsite and deciding layout of our tents, outdoor cooking area, campfire, and selecting a tree from which to hang our food to avoid the curiosity of bears.  Decisions made by our trip leaders on previous nights were suddenly our decisions.  The consequences of choosing poorly were quickly evident when an overnight thunderstorm left some of the tents exposed to water collecting in a low lying area and our campfire billowed smoke into the group because we had not considered the canopy of evergreens above.  As campers we gained wisdom in a way that would have not resonated had we just done what we were told.  Responsibility made our experience remarkable and memorable.  What has it done for you?


The price of greatness is responsibility

~ Winston Churchill

Many of my transformational moments have come when somebody provides not only feedback but a suggestion on how to improve.  Their advice was an investment in my growth and formed a partnership.  It is easy for us to lob a complaint at any entity using a customer feedback form and hope for some form of acknowledgement or even a token of good-will.  Rarely do we take the responsibility of providing a solution.  A recommended improvement offers an actionable course by which we can measure growth.  Just saying, ‘don’t do that again’ cuts off many other options and limits dialogue.  Reading the New Yorker article on the origins of the Occupy Wall Street movement, I was intrigued by the following summation.
“But, in the end, the point of Occupy Wall Street is not its platform so much as its form: people sit down and hash things out instead of passing their complaints on to Washington. “We are our demands,” as the slogan goes. And horizontalism seems made for this moment. It relies on people forming loose connections quickly.”
It makes me wonder how many complaints could have been rephrased as suggestions?  How many times could I have offered a reasonable and unique solution to a problem?  How easy is it for me to yell into the wind and assume a concert hall audience is listening?  Perhaps the greatest responsibility comes in taking the first step to correct that which can be fixed.