Embracing Personal Responsibility

Embracing Personal Responsibility

Embracing Personal Responsibility

By: Dr. Julie Cappel

This week I am traveling again so I have had time to observe many people. Sit at any airport for a while and you will be entertained by a vast array of human behavior.

Today as I was waiting in line to board my flight to Dallas, a woman gifted me with a great example of a complete lack of common courtesy and personal responsibility. As my plane was boarding she approached the woman at the counter who was working to get the passengers efficiently on the plane. She and her husband approached the desk and asked the clerk about the next flight that would be boarding from that gate. The clerk politely (as far as I
could tell) asked the woman to wait until the current flight was completely boarded to address her issue with the later flight. The woman insisted that she get assistance now because she was there and did not want to wait. The clerk again asked her politely, and a bit more forcefully, to wait. “If you could just wait a few minutes to allow me to finish with this flight, I will be happy to help”. After insisting for a third time and getting the same result, the woman turned away from the clerk, looked at her husband and said, “ That lady is a real bitch!”

Wow I laughed, she has some balls to blame the clerk for the fact that she arrived at the gate an hour and a half early for her flight and she did not wish to wait.

That is when I started to think about personal responsibility. The woman refused to consider that she might have been in the wrong – insisting that the clerk assist her before the other passengers. She further negated her personal responsibility in the transaction by calling the clerk a bitch.

Personal responsibility is an important thing for a good leader or good human to possess. The tendency to want to blame others when things do not go our way is natural, but it will affect our ability to lead.

Why is personal responsibility so important in life and leadership? How can you improve your own sense of personal responsibility?

Do not blame others. Responsible people do not blame other people for their circumstances. Becoming a strong leader involves making choices and then acknowledging that those choices, for good or bad are yours to own. Your team will lose respect for you if you blame others, especially them or your clients, for your choices or situations. When you own a problem you will earn your team’s respect.

Responsibility allows you to take control of your life. Honoring your commitments and taking responsibility for your actions allows you to make your own way in the world. No one can affect your success as long as you have a handle on the steps that you chose to get there. Understanding that you cannot control every circumstance in your life, but you can control the way you respond to those circumstances will cause you to make
better decisions.

Having a strong sense of personal responsibility will increase your feelings of self worth. If you can drop excuses or blaming, you will feel more balanced and in control. Once that balanced feeling is well established your self-esteem will grow. You will honor your commitments to yourself and be more likely to put the work in to become more successful.

Taking personal responsibility in the exam room and owning the choices that you make with clients will make you a more likable and respected veterinarian. The clients will feel assured that you are in control of any situation. You will become more trusted and loved by your clients. The confidence that you feel will cause the client to see you as the authority figure and strengthen your bond.

Watch yourself in the area of personal responsibility and work to control your thoughts and feelings to overcome the need to blame others for your situation in life.

Once you let go of blame, you can grab on to success.

Dr. Julie Cappel

“All of us have a tendency to blame others for our circumstances and even our choices. We need to overcome that tendency if we want to increase our potential and live a life with no limits.” – John Maxwell, The Power of your Potential.

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