LinkedIn Conscious Business Week 4: Responsibility
From the introduction:
For each week of this course I am going to take my notes on what I learned and turn it into a short blog post. I am hoping this will encourage you to take a look at the course and maybe do it yourself.
Here we are again with some more notes from LinkedIn’s Conscious Business Academy. This week the focus is on maintaining power in a situation by focusing on factors that you can control.
Responsibility falls on you
“Rather than taking the driver’s seat, many of us prefer to relinquish control and blame the pilot. We do so because we do not want to pay the price of power: responsibility.” - Fred Kofman
What this means is that we blame external factors for the bad things that happen to us. We do not take control, and instead shift our focus to something we have no influence over. My mum always used to tell me that “life is about selecting choices,” that no matter how bad it gets, or how out of control you feel, you always have options and a choice to make.
Even when you take responsibility, there is no guarantee you will be successful. But by maintaining control over a situation you set yourself in a position to act. And therefore you are always able to change and better your situation.
From the article The Ultimate Human Ability by Fred Kofman:
“Response-ability is a direct expression of rationality and free will. Being human is being response-able.”
Stop being a victim
Let’s imagine you are running late for a meeting at work. When you walk into the meeting someone asks you why you are late. In your response, you might say “the traffic was terrible,” shifting this blame to the traffic which is clearly out of your control. Next time you find yourself in this situation where you need to get to work and traffic is bad, it seems as though there is nothing you can do and so you will be late once again.
Yet, if you are late and you explain “I didn’t wake up with enough time to consider the bad traffic” then you are maintaining the power. The next time the traffic is bad you will be in a position to act and improve your situation. The problem now has a simple solution of waking up a little earlier to take into account the bad traffic.
A victim will look at a situation as though they are at the mercy of factors out of their control. But thinking as a response-able person, you focus on what is in your control, which gives you the ability to respond.
Act with integrity
Being response-able allows you to focus on the factor of the situation you can influence. When you understand and consider all your options it becomes ever more important to act with integrity. Choose a way to achieve success and your goals so that it is in alignment with your core values.
Once again, this doesn’t guarantee success. But it does guarantee that you can be proud of yourself and be happy with who you are. You can’t control everything, but you can always control your behaviour.
Recall back to the introduction where we talked about the three goals people pursue: task; relationship; and self. These goals form a hierarchy with self being the base. Without self, you can’t have relationships, and you certainly can’t complete any tasks. But acting with integrity you preserve self, and so you can continue to build relationships and complete tasks which on which they are dependent.
It is important to view the world as though you’re in the driver’s seat. By taking responsibility you focus on what you can control and the actions you can take to achieve your goal. But with the power this maintains, integrity is key. Success will never be a guarantee, but you can ensure that you will always be happy with yourself and able to build up from there.