“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
It has been said, that if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got. But I want to alter it slightly. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be what you’ve always been. You can’t ever be more than what you are currently if you don’t expand yourself beyond what you are currently doing.
What is more, if we are not expanding ourselves, it is safe to assume that our subordinates are not either. People will mirror what they see, not what they hear. We must take time to look beyond where we are, and what we are currently doing to ask the question, where do I want to go, and what do I need to do to get there? Once we identify those tasks, those responsibilities, we must take action.
When we take those actions, when we stretch ourselves to make our team or organization better, we will be able to encourage those we lead to follow our example as we coach them through the process.
3 Checkpoints To Taking Greater Responsibility:
1. Learn what is next – If you were to grow, or move forward what would it take to successfully exist there? Like wise, if you were to promote a subordinate, what would it take for them to succeed in that position? If they wait to learn that once they get there, it will be too late.
2. Partner with a subordinate on a task – While this seems minimal, it serves a greater purpose than the accomplishment of the task. This exercise will help you see how the subordinate works, and how you can better lead and coach them. Like wise, have your high performers do this with piers to hone their leadership skills.
3. Push for excellence – As leaders, if we cannot excel in what we are currently doing, what makes us think that we will excel in the future? The bad or disruptive habits we have now will still exist in the future, unless we do something about them now. If you have a subordinate who excels in what they do currently, rather than promoting them and giving them a whole new set of responsibilities, give them a portion of that position to see how they would handle it.
What are some other checkpoints towards greater responsibility?