Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thought for the Day - Why Are There Irresponsible People Around You?

I have often found myself wondering how irresponsible certain team members, family members, public figures and others can be. 'How can they be so irresponsible?' - is the indignant, self-righteous question.
Pic courtesy: Satish

I was talking to a CEO friend of mine and he said the same thing. I spoke to a cricket captain and he was distressed by the same thing. Why can't they be more responsible?

The unsaid part of this question really is - how can they be that way when I am this way. We, who are responsible (which is a good thing mind you) somehow seem to attract the kind of people who are totally irresponsible.

Now, when we compare this with many other successful people who are equally or even more responsible than we are, and who somehow seem to make their team members behave more responsibly, we must pause and wonder what it is that is different between the way they handle their team and the way we handle our team.

To me the answer lies somewhere here. Are you taking up so much responsibility for the others and by doing that - making them behave in an irresponsible way? Are you trying to think for them, do for them, talk for them? Are you not giving them any space to express themselves as individuals? If you are, though your intentions are well-meaning, they are self-defeating. They are the actions of an immature, possessive and perhaps dictatorial parent, leader, mentor, guide, teacher.

And as a leader, teacher, you are responsible for others, more in their growth aspect and not for doing their work. They will never be able to do their work if you keep getting in their way. Also, their growth means that you support them through their mistakes and guide them.

So the next time you find your team members behaving irresponsibly, ask yourself these questions.    

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