Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Being Responsible "To" Not "For"

Once You’ve Done Your Part, You’ll Rest Easy
You care about others! You want to help and serve others! You know that if you help others achieve what they want to achieve then you in turn will be rewarded—both in tangible and intangible ways. If that’s you, then your desire to help others might sometimes cause you to feel stressed out, worried and frustrated because those you’re attempting to help don’t always follow your advice. They often resist doing the things you know they should be doing for their own good.
The solution is to adopt the attitude and mindset of being “responsible to” not “for.” There’s a huge difference between those two responsibilities!  
Here’s an example: If you’re the parent of a young child, you’re responsible both “to” and “for.” That’s right. You’re responsible “to” provide your little one with food, clothing, shelter, love and a safe environment. You’re also responsible “for” their actions and behaviors until they grow up. But once they’ve grown up, the “for” goes away and only the “to” remains.
My wife Judy and I are the parents of two wonderful daughters. They’re married women with children of their own. We’re not responsible “for” them anymore! However, the responsible “to” them is still there and will always be there! We are responsible “to” give them love and encouragement, and our advice and honest input when asked for it. But what they do with that input is their responsibility, not ours. That way we feel comfortable, knowing we did our part—the responsible “to” part.
You can too, both in your personal and professional life. For example, in your business career, here are some things you’d be responsible to be doing:
  • Being prepared
  • Telling the truth
  • Putting your customer first
  • Following through
  • Being on time
  • Being a team player
  • Bringing passion & enthusiasm
  • Expressing gratitude
OK, you get the point. There are lots more we can name:
In Selling, as the sales professional, you’re responsible “to” your customer—to sell what your prospect/customer needs or wants at a fair price and “to” provide follow-up service after the sale. Yes, you show value, you close and you ask for the decision…but you’re not responsible “for” that decision—they are!
In Leadership, as the leader, you’re responsible “to” your team—to provide the tools, equipment and training they need to get their job done safely and efficiently. You’re responsible “to” reward them, praise them and encourage them. But you’re not responsible “for” their happiness, their sense of accomplishment or their job satisfaction—they are!
In Speaking, as the presenter, you’re responsible “to” your audience—responsible “to” be prepared, energized, focused on their needs, with a message that can help them. But you’re not responsible “for” how your audience members put those ideas into action!
Decide now to put more of your effort and energy into the responsible “to” portion and less into the “for.”  You’ll sleep better at night and enjoy life so much more.
I was responsible “to” share this timeless truth with you, and now that I’ve done my part, you’re responsible “for” its implementation in your life and your career!

MAKE it a great day!