I am. It’s the most common excuse for non-performance I hear from highly skilled professionals.
I firmly believe that teamwork should no longer be considered a group skill. It is an individual skill and a responsibility of everyone in the work place.
Not treating teamwork as an individual skill and responsibility allows otherwise highly skilled employees to justify non-performance by pointing fingers at others.
Taking responsibility for your part is the key point I teach for the Leadership Gift — it’s the primary means for getting our work done in an interdependent and changing environment.
Who Should Develop Leadership Gift Skills?
- Any individual contributor who relies on the work of others in order to get their own work done: engineers, scientists, analysts, planners, marketers, sales-people, accountants,
technicians, administrators, and many others.
- People assigned to work in teams: developers, designers, coders, specialists, engineers, and scientists.
- People assigned to lead teams: Program managers, product managers, project managers, team leads, matrix managers, technical exerts, and the like.
- Managers and executives who wish to empower people within and across their own authority — anybody who works in an environment of shared responsibility.
Tapping into your Leadership Gift refers to all the individual mental skills and behaviors that lead to highly responsible and productive relationships at work.
The idea is based on my definition for the term team: when a group of individuals responds successfully to the opportunity presented by shared responsibility.
Someone with the Leadership Gift takes responsibility for ensuring that the group rises to the occasion so that one’s own work gets done and done well.
5 Reasons to Take Personal Responsibility for the Performance of Every Team You Serve
1. Remain employable.
Your ability to create a high-quality, productive relationship is fast becoming a prerequisite for being able to do your work. It once was management’s job to dole out individual work and then integrate the pieces. Now, organizations are doling out work to teams and asking the team to complete the work in the manner that is most effective and efficient for it.
2. Get more done with less time and energy.
Instead of thinking about yourself as a component on a team, think of any team on which you serve as a lever for you and the value you bring. Learn to see your relationships at work as opportunities to leverage your talents and your results.
3. Earn more.
I believe that we’re not far away from the day when professionals will be measured not on individual deliverables and output but on how many successful teams they serve.
People who take 100 percent responsibility for creating quality, productive relationships at work tend to struggle less with bureaucracy and politics. Instead, they are more interested in getting work done. Responsible relationships invite people to bring their expertise. Such relationships reward your psyche and spirit, and allow you to make an impact, be seen and
5. Transform your work place.
You just might help your organization and its members by helping yourself. Imagine a place where people do not blame others or make excuses when things go wrong. Imagine a place where agendas are aligned instead of hidden and where everyone can win instead of live in fear of losing. Everyday, through your own actions, you either reinforce the way things currently are or else you demonstrate a different possibility and preference.
Remember, for things around you to change, first you must change.
Get Started With This 5-Minute Stretch
What group are you a part of that could better rise to the opportunity presented by shared responsibility? What could you do to get started today?
Leaders and coaches: Get Christopher’s best team building and leadership strategies collected over two-plus decades of solving teamwork problems for smart people. Attend the acclaimed Creating Results-Based Teams workshop, or get this FREE Special Report while it lasts: The Five Flawless Steps to Building a Strong Executive Leadership Team.
Christopher Avery, PhD, is a recognized authority on how individual and shared responsibility works in the mind and an advisor to leaders worldwide.
Break through problems, accelerate your growth, and skyrocket performance with The Leadership Gift Program.