What is the measure of being "responsible enough"? Below is a list of steps on how to draw responsibility out of our shells.

1. Develop self-awareness. As a leader, you should know your own strengths and weaknesses to be able to view your behavior objectively. Also, recognize your shortcomings, open yourself to feedback, and make changes when necessary. When you are aware of yourself and your personality as a whole, you will know what tasks you should engage in and what situations you feel you are not capable of handling.

Dr. Gerald Bell, business consultant and professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C, advises us on how to expand our self-knowledge, "Study yourself closely and practice self-assessment techniques to learn how you behave and the effects you have on others. Ask others for their opinions or criticisms and what you can do to become a better leader."

2. Do not equate responsibility with worry. When we hear the word responsibility, we often think to ourselves, "another task, another problem!" However, responsibility is more than worrying about things given to us to work out. Consider this short story

One night at the end of the second shift, an employee walked out of the plant and passed the porter. As head of operations, he had started his day at the beginning of the first shift. The porter said, "Mr. Smith, I sure wish I had your pay, but I don't want your worry.

The porter equated responsibility and worry. Perhaps he does not want to carry the office work home like what he does as a porter. This is not reasonable, especially if you want to become an effective leader.

Say, the vice-president of a prestigious company and the porter are paid the same money, who would you want to be? Carrying responsibility should not intimidate you, because the joy of accomplishment - the feeling of helping other people - is what leadership is all about.

3. Take risks. Effective leaders have the courage to act in situations where results and success are uncertain. They are willing to risk failure. In doing this, you always have to be prepared. Analyze the situation and your options. List the pros and the cons for each option you have, and then assign each choice a risk factor rating from 1 to 5. Next, determine the likelihood that each outcome will occur. This will help you know how much risk you are willing to take.

Also, do not expect perfection. No one is perfect. In fact, leaders grow by making mistakes.

4. Be ready to admit your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. It is normal. Avoid making excuses and blaming others for something you did wrong. Admitting your mistakes and failures will even make people respect you more, as you are true to yourself.

Author's Bio: 

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