You can be confident that you are being a victim of something right now. When you wake up and recognize that you are behaving as though you are the victim of circumstances that are keeping you from accomplishing what you’re “up to”, it will provide you with a new opening to take greater responsibility. This is a powerful pathway for greater leadership and growth.

INSIGHT: Responsibility is a chosen way of relating to any given situation, result, or outcome.

Responsibility is a chosen relationship. No one can make you responsible. You must choose to be responsible. When you chose to be responsible, you confront the situation, take ownership of it — including taking ownership of your participation in it — and recognize your opportunities to engage with it. You recognize that you can respond to the situation and choose to do so. You don’t allow yourself to be a victim of the situation, reacting to it, being at the effect of it, or being resigned about it.

By taking on the practice of The Collaborative Way you are inherently taking on greater responsibility and thus elevating your level of leadership. If you think that there’s nowhere that you could take greater responsibility, you have no room for greater leadership. Leadership is essentially two things: taking responsibility for a situation and engaging with it while continuing to take responsibility for what’s occurring around you. When you chose leadership on a daily basis, you have greater freedom to determine your destination rather than have your destination determined for you.

KEY ACTION: The opportunity is to look at your current circumstances and notice where you are taking on a victim perspective. Notice the things you complain about, explain away, or that you are resigned about.

We will all be victims from time to time. If you make it wrong to be a victim, it’s very hard to recognize where you are being a victim. However, when you recognize that you are being a victim, it provides you with an opening to re-center yourself in what you are “up to” and choose to take responsibility and engage with the situation. This gives you, your team, and your company greater power and freedom to successfully and effectively determine your destination and forward what you’re “up to” together.

To further explore “responsibility” and its impact in the workplace, read chapter seven in “Leading The Collaborative Way, Overcoming the Seven Most Common Pitfalls”.