Have you ever had a rough day at work that followed you home? You slump into your favorite chair on the porch as you get home, contemplating your day. Perhaps there were files or papers not done on time. Your boss turned to you for an explanation, and your immediate reaction was to blame the assistant for slow copying, or to criticize the IT person for not fixing the computer. Later, you even judge your boss for being “too picky.”

Have you ever had a rough day at work that followed you home? You slump into your favorite chair on the porch as you get home, contemplating your day. Perhaps there were files or papers not done on time. Your boss turned to you for an explanation, and your immediate reaction was to blame the assistant for slow copying, or to criticize the IT person for not fixing the computer. Later, you even judge your boss for being “too picky.”

As you stew in the anxiety of your day at work, you find yourself gazing at a small, fluttery movement. It is a single bird, building a nest in the yard. This little creature is diligently adding twig after twig to its nest. At a certain point, a warm summer breeze blows and topples over the fragile nest. For the bird, there is no one to blame, to criticize, or to judge. It simply begins building again, from a different angle, sheltered from the wind.

The Responsibility Triad: Choices, Action, Accountability

Responsibility is something that can be constructed with purpose. It is a triad. At one apex are your Choices. You can choose to blame someone or something else, or you can get in the game. Will you push sand over the problem – and dig yourself deeper in the process – or will you address it?

At the second apex is Action. Criticizing someone is not an action. It is a reaction. Instead of criticism, evaluate the problem and address it constructively. Check that there are points in place to ensure that it does not happen again.

At the third apex is Accountability. It’s about stepping up and taking responsibility for your own actions. It’s also about letting others take responsibility for theirs. It’s a lot easier said than done (like so many other things are!). Spending your precious time and energy judging others, or worrying about the actions of others, is a waste. Holding yourself accountable, instead of judging others, is a much more constructive use of your time and energy. After all, you do not have control over what others do, nor should you.

At the center of the triad is you. You can exercise control over your own actions. You can be constructive, and it can make a difference. Just as a bird constructs its nest until no breeze can bring it down, you can build your triad of responsibility that will help you weather any storm that comes your way (from your boss or anyone else!).

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”

–Jim Rohn

You’re sitting in your favorite chair on the porch, watching this bird build her nest. She is diligent and determined. Choice is what leads us to build a nest. Taking constructive action means to build it in a place that is sheltered from the wind and any other forces that may try to knock it down. If it starts to topple, accountability leads us to build another.

You can blame, criticize, and judge others, or you can work on you. These are your choices, your actions, and your accountability. Imagine knocking down negativity and creating a more productive, beautiful world. When you achieve this, you can bask in the light of a job well done. Your nest is complete.

Tell Us Your Story

  1. What do you do when others blame you for something you have not done?
  2. How do you hold yourself accountable on a daily basis?
  3. Share a positive example someone taking responsibility for their actions.

Image by: qute

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