Character Traits: Responsibility

The Right Thing Above My Own Thing

“Character” is easier to recognize than it is to define in a succinct and meaningful way. It’s about mental and moral qualities that define what “normal” is for us. Some have defined it as who we are when no one else is looking.

ResponsibilityMy way of getting a handle on good character is to define it in terms of three TRAITS: Integrity, Selflessness, and Responsibility. Each of those traits can be further detailed as a set of ATTRIBUTES. (See diagram.) Let’s explore the trait of Responsibility.


When you’re responsible for something, you accept that you own the success or failure of it. No excuses, no passing the buck or blaming others.

A responsible person keeps their eyes focused on the things that matter most. The choices they make demonstrate a willingness to say “no” to personal desires to fulfill their commitments. That also implies they recognize their own limitations and don’t commit to what they can’t deliver. Continue reading Character Traits: Responsibility

Balancing on a Three-Legged Stool

Responsibility, Authority, and Privilege

The nice thing about a three-legged stool is that it won’t wobble.  That doesn’t mean the top will be level enough to keep you from falling off, but it won’t wobble.   Ever try to play Jenga or build something on a stool that wasn’t level?  Not a formula for success.

I like to picture responsibility, authority, and privilege as a three-legged stool that I can build an organization on.  To build successfully, we need that stool to be level.  If any leg is too long or too short, our growth and stability will be constrained. Continue reading Balancing on a Three-Legged Stool

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Why Faster Isn’t Always Better

Throughout my career, responsibilities always came to me before titles.  And I usually gave responsibilities to others before giving the corresponding titles.  If this seem unfair, it’s more considerate than giving a title too quickly and having to take it away when it doesn’t work out.entrepreneur-1103722_640  So rather than feeling under-appreciated when you’re given assignments that fit the next position up the ladder, consider it a sign of leadership’s confidence in your potential. Continue reading Climbing the Corporate Ladder