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Responsible vs. Response - able

As I am about to head out on the farm today I wanted to share something that has been resonating with me all week. This is powerful.

In our roles as leaders and business owners, we each have certain responsibilities. We are responsible for providing value to the clients. We are responsible for bringing together multiple and sometimes opposing personalities. We are responsible to our teammates. We are responsible for the growth and systematization of our business.

What about when something happens that is contrary to what we believe or value? Are we then responsible? Not necessarily. When an outside force, say a customer, does something against our values, we are not responsible. We didn't cause the incident. However, we are “response-able.”

What does it mean to be “response able?” I can tell you, and with many personal examples, that if you have been married for a long while you have had to learn what “response-able” means. To deal with people successfully, you should know what this means. It is a bookend to being responsible. Response-able means when something out of your control affects a situation, you are able to choose your response. This is as powerful, if not greater than, being responsible. Responsibility is taking care of what you are in charge of; response-able is taking the right actions for things that you aren't controlling.

There are key moments frequently in our lives – things like road rage, someone breaking line, a different opinion, the list could go on and on. How we respond to those things is what determines our level of response-ability. For those that have high emotional intelligence, which can be grown by the way, you are not as interested in your rights, as you are in the situation at hand. Success in business requires many qualities.  If a you choose to press your rights in a volatile situation, even though you may be right, you may become wrong. The way we go about things is as important as the facts of the situation. If you don't believe me watch the crazy news for just 30 seconds. You will see that most of issues in this country are due to the response mechanisms of the people interacting.

In order to grow and strengthen our businesses, we have no room for proving we are 'right' through low emotional exhibits. Instead, leaders will pave the way with facts, solid actions, and consistency. We will take the high road and maintain our integrity through proper responses. Those that don't do this, do not fit the culture that growing, influential, and successful businesses are building.

In the end, we are responsible to be response-able. The next time you are hit with a client bowing up in your face, an email that is inflammatory, or something out of your control that impacts your day; stop, breathe, and in the key moment choose your path. Remember you control your response and where it leads. It can and will make all the difference.

Enjoy the Journey to Freedom!


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