As humans, we are responsible for A LOT of moving parts. If you’re a general contractor and/or business owner, this become more complicated because your “parts” overlap with your employees, your subcontractors, and your clients. No matter how well you’re managing, or think you’re managing, sometimes those parts don’t run smoothly. We all know the deal- everything is running along and BAM, something happens where the“blame” fingers come out and get pointed. It seems to take forever to come up with a resolution and even when there is a resolution, someone is left with a bad taste. Most of the time, these situations could have been avoided. How? By being 100% responsible.
We may think that to be 100% responsible we either have to control everyone and everything around us ordo it ourselves. If you’ve ever tried that approach, you know that this usually doesn’t work, nor is it possible to keep it all going without some “part” breaking down- usually that’s you! While wedon’t have the ability to control everyone or everything around us, we can influence others to be more responsible. But most importantly, we must demand 100% responsibility fromourselves. If you already do that, and never have issues, you can stop reading. But if you’ve had issues,been 'trying' to influence people to get them to be more responsible (more like you the owner!), but it seems like they just won't listen, keep reading…
Influencing Others to be More Responsible:
As a contractor and/or owner,if something goes wrong, you are responsible, no matter who caused the issue. How do you get everyone you work with to be more responsible?
• Identify the problem
• Create a reward or incentive structure to help shape the behavior you’re after
• Empower those you are influencing to find these solutions on their own
If you’ve done all this and the same issues arise over and over, it’s time to take a good look at what’s really going on. Too often we try to influence‘repeat offenders’ for way too long. You know the cycle. Something happens, as described above. You identify the cause and meet with the front-line employee. There may even be disciplinary action; a warning. Things improve for a while, until it happens again. And again. The cycle repeats. Sometimes for years! We invest too much time in trying to influence these peopleto no avail. Why? It could simply be you don’thave the right people on your team and it’s time to make a change. But what if it’snot them, and it’s you?
Demanding 100% responsibility of yourself: This is really hard to do. Understanding that you could be the cause of the problemis the most difficultrealization we face as humans and business owners. Afterall, you are the leader. The one that sets the tone and the example for others to follow. But what if your behavior is sabotaging your ability to influence others to take responsibility and for you to ultimately be 100% responsible? Here are some things that people do or say to avoid being responsible(Lynn G. Robbins, The Anti-Responsibility List):
• Blaming others
• Rationalizing or Justifying
• Making excuses
• Minimizing problems
• Covering up
• Fleeing from responsibility
• Abandoning responsibility
• Denying or lying
• Finding fault and getting angry
• Making demands & entitlements
• Doubting/Losing hope/Quitting
• Indulging in self-pity and victim mentality
• Being indecisive
• Allowing fear to rule
When problems arise in your business, or in your life, do you find yourself doing any of these things on the list? The first step to success is to recognize it and admit you’re doing it. From there you will need to change it. Stop it. Replace it. Byeliminating that behavior, you are on your way to improving your capability to influence others and taking 100% responsibility for your business and your life.
Start by askingyourself, “What can I do to fix me?"
Rather than, "What's wrong with them?"
Because at the end of the day, all you can control is yourself.