You have the experience, the technical expertise, and are accountable for your people and the results of the organization. Are you fulfilling the responsibilities of the leader?

Reflect on the following:

Do you feel your responsibility as a leader? To reach a leadership position you must have a number of prerequisite skills and experiences. But to truly be a leader you must feel the responsibility of your position. Military leaders readily talk about how they feel the responsibility of keeping their charges safe. Business owners clearly feel the internal pull their responsibilities have on them. Until you feel that strain – you are not a leader you are merely in a leadership position.

Take the perspective of a subordinate; ever observe a leader who did not feel the responsibility of leadership? Put that picture in your mind and recall what it looked like. Did they truly care about the critical issues? Did they resolve challenges no matter the personal cost, or were they able to walk away with the intent to resolve it later. The responsibility of leadership is a selflessness that puts others and the mission before self.

Leaders carry the burden of responsibility and can feel its gravity. Good leaders do not buckle under the load, but shoulder it without complaint. How does your leadership responsibility feel and look? Do others see the responsibility of leadership on your face? Should they?

Do you take action on your responsibilities? At times the burden of responsibility can be paralyzing. The information is not perfect and the results not always positive, however being responsible requires taking action. Sometimes your action may be incrementally small, while other times grave and drastic. Nonetheless, action is required, based on the reality of your situation and your position as a leader. Action establishes your credibility as a leader. Fail to act and you undermine your credibility. How do you act on your responsibilities?

Do you own your responsibilities?  You alone are responsible for your decisions, actions, and inactions as a leader. Ever experience a leader who would not take responsibility for their own decisions or lack thereof? How do your subordinates talk about you in this area? Respect is garnered by taking responsibility.

There are many facets of being a leader, with few being more important than accepting and acting on the responsibilities of leadership. How did you do with this short reflection? If you don’t feel the weight of your leadership responsibilities, if you don’t act on them, and own them, you are not a leader. You are merely standing in front of a group.


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