I bet you have heard someone at some time in your organisation say “it’s not my job”. What they are really saying is “I am not prepared to take responsibility for that”. If too many people take that line, no one is taking responsibility for anything and drama unfolds. It is the job of a leader to first understand and accept what their job is and then create an environment where everyone else does too.
When someone takes responsibility for something they are really saying “I am happy to be held accountable for this. I am happy to accept the blame for the outcome. It is my duty to do this”. Can you imagine if everyone in your organisation was crystal clear about what they were responsible for and indeed took responsibility for it? I have no doubt that it would be a happier and more productive organisation.
It is useful for a leader to reflect on and define just what their job is. I use an activity called ‘It’s My Job’ and it’s designed to clarify a leader’s responsibilities (click here for a free download). It asks a leader to think about their commitments in three areas – themselves, their organisation and the individuals they work with.
For example, when it comes to themselves, a leader is responsible for things like their attitude, their words, their actions and their health. In regard to an organisation or team, a leader is responsible for the culture, the vision, the reputation and results. In relation to individuals in the organisation, it’s a leaders job to provide clear expectations, opportunities for growth and development and to create an environment where people are inspired to do their best.
As a leader, are you living up to your responsibilities? Are you even clear about what they are? Make a start by defining just what your job is. You’ll be amazed at the clarity it provides.