In early May, CXO had the opportunity to hear two local executives and mentors speak on the topic of “Taking Responsibility and Ownership.” The setting was a panel discussion focused on questions and answers where the “seasoned” men gave practical advice to young leaders that are a few stages of life behind the mentors. To kick off the discussion, two very personal definitions were given for the term, “responsibility.”
- Responsibility is asking the right questions in regards to relationships: What relationships are most important to me? How are things going with those relationships? Your spouse? Your children? Your coworkers?
- Responsibility is the essence of masculinity. Most of the big questions in life are full of ambiguity - you must remember God and lean into the mystery.
Second, 4 questions were discussed in regards to understanding your identity in regards to taking ownership of “your junk.”
- To whom have you given the authority to judge your life? (audience)
- Why do you matter? (purpose)
- Who are you? (identity)
- Why are you here? (significance)
Third, the panel focused on the choices you make when taking responsibility:
- What do you want? -vs-
- What are you willing to pay for?
Are you willing to make the investment of time, energy, and resources to go after what you want? Or, are you simply daydreaming? There is a price to pay for all of your desires and choices. There were two key points that also struck me during this discussion.
- Number one: don’t set an expectation at work that is at variance with your responsibilities at home. You must choose very wisely if you’re going to have a sustainable work/life balance.
- Number two: don’t be afraid to say “no.” To maintain proper rhythm in your life, you must be able to decline opportunities and requests that are not in-line with your pre-established priorities.
Fourth, we discussed the idea of building a team of allies in which you can live transparently in community:
- Each of us puts on masks for the world to see based on what we ‘think’ they want to see in effort to create an illusion of righteousness.
- If you’re married, your wife should be the first piece of your team, biggest confidant, and strongest ally. You must learn to trust her discernment and submit to her judgment. By aligning in life with your wife, you can "double the fun of successes and share half of the angst of losses."
Finally, we talked about a few key indicators to show if you're not accepting responsibility and taking ownership in your life:
- Watch closely to see if you have an inappropriate emotional response to a stimulus. If you’re not taking responsibility, your emotions will be out of line with the stimulus provided
- Always watch your desire for ‘character success’ versus ‘circumstance success.’ Gauge to see if you are on-kilter with your responsibilities. Enemies will be most aggressive around areas in your life where you’re the least responsible.