Marine Corps. Leadership: Develop A Sense of Responsibility Among Your Subordinates

Develop a sense of responsibility by delegating opportunities

Develop a sense of responsibility by delegating opportunities

“Responsibility is  the price of greatness.” – Winston Churchill

It has been said that trust is gained over time but lost in a moment. The amount of  time it takes to earn a leader’s trust is determined by the leader.  Before you start calling me Captain Obvious, really think about that sentence. How long it takes for trust to be built is really determined by you, the leader.

If your subordinates, employees, team members, etc. aren’t at the level of competency to where you can trust them it is because of 1 of 2 reasons. Either they are not capable of being competent of the tasks you desire for them to accomplish, or because they have not been given the opportunity to develop that competency, simultaneously earning your  trust.

This is not to say that once you delegate a task to a subordinate they will automatically and competently complete the task assigned to them. Building competency, trust, and ultimately a sense of responsibility will take time and effort. Andy Stanley, in his new book Deep & Wide, says that they don’t do any type of formal leadership training, rather they promote too soon so that the person will rise to the level of the opportunity.

3 Keys to Creating Competency and Responsibility:

  1. Provide a clear vision and objectives – Most subordinates are not initially inclined to seek out the vision and objectives their boss or leader has for them. In order to develop this sense of responsibility, we must initially provide them with our “picture” of winning.
  2. Involve them on projects – When subordinates are invited to join their leader on a project, there is sense of appreciation and pride they get from being recognized as one who is worthy of the task.
  3. Give them the opportunity to fail – If you’re waiting for a subordinate to be 100% ready, you will always be found waiting. Express your belief in their ability to adapt and rise to the challenge. This will encourage them preform in a way they’ve never have for you before.

As always, this list is not comprehensive, but it is a good start.

What other ways, or methods would you add for creating a sense of responsibility?

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