Taking Responsibility

… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

TankingResponsibilityConcept description

Taking responsibility involves accepting personal accountability for one’s actions and commitments and is a crucial contributor to effectiveness in the workplace and beyond.

Indeed, self-help counsellors, such as Susan Heathfield (reference below), advise that taking responsibility is crucial for success in life. Heathfield says:

You are totally responsible for your life. This is the foundation principle you must embrace if you plan for happiness and success in life and work.

…Excuses for failure, excuses about your choices in life, excuses about what you feel you have accomplished fuel dysfunctional thinking – and consequently, undesirable actions and behaviors. Making excuses instead of taking one hundred percent responsibility for your actions, your thoughts, and your goals is the hallmark of people who fail to succeed. … When you spend your thinking time on success and goal accomplishment, instead of on making excuses, you free up the emotional space formerly inhabited by negativity.

The statement of Michigan State Behavioral Competencies lists indicators of taking responsibility as:

  • Follows-through on commitments
  • Only makes promises that can be kept
  • Acts like a business owner, taking care of the needs of the unit
  • Takes responsibility for actions, results, and mistakes
  • Is willing to accept additional responsibility or authority

The OECD Core Competencies includes the following behaviours (under the heading of Achievement Focus):

  • Generating results by assuming responsibility for one’s performance and the correctness of one’s interventions
  • Recognising opportunities and acting efficiently at the appropriate moment and within the given deadlines

Susan Heathfield, Take Responsibility for Your Life, at http://humanresources.about.com/od/success/qt/responsible_s5.htm, accessed 16 February 2016.

Michigan State University – Human Resources, Behavioral Competencies, on Atlas at Michigan State Behavioral Competencies, original at https://www.hr.msu.edu/performance/supportstaff/competencies.htm, accessed 15 February 2016.

OECD Competency Framework, on Atlas at OECD Core Competencies, original at http://www.oecd.org/careers/competency_framework_en.pdf, accessed 7 January 2016.

Atlas topic and subject

Working in Organizations (core topic) in Leadership Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 16 February 2016.

Image: Recapo, http://www.recapo.com/dr-phil/dr-phil-relationships/dr-phil-traumatic-childhood-abuse-taking-responsibility/, accessed 16 February 2016.