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Taking Responsibility

It all starts with Responsibility…take responsibility for your responsibilities. I know, sounds like we are talking in circles with this statement. But, in order to be a success in life we must be responsible. This is the best way to build trust and integrity as a leader.

In Jack Canfield’s book “Success Principles”, one of the first principles he wrote about was how to be 100% responsible for your life and to stop complaining about the things in life that are not going your way. It is amazing that once this simple (yet difficult) principle is established as a habit, the benefits one can experience can be enormous.

To every problem that we encounter, we basically have 4 options available:

· Ignore it

· Suppress it

· Accept it

· Change it

The first option may work for little things in life…the things we don’t care too much about. But, in reality, this solution may not work for most of the problems we face. When we ignore a problem, it has a tendency to grow and become a more invasive problem later.

Trying to suppress the problem is mostly counterproductive. It may work temporarily but the problem resurfaces after awhile and we’re back to the same problem or even worse.

Accepting it is mostly one of the most difficult options available to us as we mostly use this option as our last resort. It is difficult because we don’t want to feel cheated or weak in front of others. Our pride and ego will often times get in the way, or even be challenged by this solution. This may cause us to react negatively in the moment or towards others.

Changing it is actually how to solve problems. Most problems won’t go away unless we act on them. This is also where most people fall into the “Complaining Trap” or the “Not Fair Game”, or even the “It’s Not My Problem Sweepstakes” as there’s a huge difference between talking about something and doing anything about it. As I have said before…Life is not what you can do, it is what you do, do. Life and leadership are about taking action and being a completer…a finisher.

To be honest, it is also when we talk about problems that we can actually gain advice from others; so talking about problems isn’t entirely bad. There is that great saying of “None of us is a smart as all of us.” Take advantage of the wisdom around you and discuss solutions…be problem solvers.

What’s ineffective and counterproductive is just talking for “talking sake.” Listening to advice upon advice but doing nothing about it. It’s what differentiates successful people and unsuccessful people: “doing” rather than merely talking.

Leaders seek to move in a positive direction for their organization, and for their own personal growth. How we handle the challenges presented to us will define who we become as leaders who may be seen as “worth following”. Enjoy the Ride.

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