The Responsibility Equation
by Alex Charfen
You and I have some work to do.
Right now, I want you to take out a piece of paper and write the word responsibility.
Then draw a line under it.
Now under this line, write the word blame.
It should look something like this –
Take a long look at this visual…what do you see?
In this equation, those who live above the line take responsibility instead of assigning blame, and then move forward.
In a perfect world, we would all live above this line all the time. But unfortunately, we all have certain triggers pushing us to think thoughts like – “I want to blame someone else. I want to make it somebody else's problem. It's not about me. It's not my fault.”
In the past few days, I've found myself having these negative thoughts over and over again. Thankfully I have such a loving, patient wife who's willing to point out when I'm passing the buck instead of taking responsibility. She was my reminder to look at this equation again and share it with you all.
I also want to share with you another tactic to use whenever you feel like blaming someone else. It's simple, really – just ask yourself a few questions.
- Where was I responsible?
- Was I completely transparent?
- Was I clear?
- Did I paint a vision?
- Was there accountability in place?
- Did we understand where we were going before we started?
If you can't answer “yes” to all these questions, you can't absolve yourself of responsibility. Acknowledging your own responsibility helps you rise above blame, correct behaviors, and return to positive collaboration. It also serves as a reminder that your goal is not to assess blame but to achieve a desired outcome.
I want you to take a look at this equation again, even write it down somewhere you will see every day.
Seeing this simple equation will remind you to live above the line, be transparent with yourself and others around you, and take responsibility when necessary.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and it helps you going forward. Make sure to check out the Momentum Podcast for more equations like this!