10-year old Uche was having dinner with his 6-years old sister, ChiChi, while the mum was busy cleaning up the pots and pans she used in the meal preparation. With her back turned to the kids, she didn’t see ChiChi push one of her expensive china bowls off the table and it broke. She felt her insides shatter too as she heard the shattering noise of the bowl.
To the kids, it was “just a bowl” but for Mrs Peterside, it was a cherished gift from her late mother which had been passed down from generations before her. She turned to the kids with eyes brimming with tears and anger. ChiChi was already cringing in her seat because she knew her mother would totally punish her for this but before she could own up even without her mother asking the obvious, Uche spoke, “I am so sorry mom. It was a mistake. I didn’t mean for it to happen”.
Mrs Peterside could already tell ChiChi was the culprit because the young lady had the word, “GUILTY” written all over her but her anger fast dissipated by this act of responsibility Uche just displayed and she couldn’t help but wonder why he did it. Some days later, she asked him and he responded, “As the oldest, I could have cautioned her to be more careful but I didn’t. I watched her play with the bowl till it fell”.
If every entrepreneur took responsibility for everything (good or bad) that goes on in his business instead of apportioning blames to others (especially when things go wrong), the business world would be a lot better than it is today. The responsibility mindset says, “It is my duty to make it happen”; “I am accountable for whatever happens”.
Enough of the passing-blames-game which though easier is never the right move to make as an entrepreneur. It denies your business opportunities to thrive which you would totally see if manning up to responsibilities was your go-to attitude.
You are solely responsible for whatever level of success your business attains at any time. Taking responsibility is really scary and very uncomfortable but it comes with the job description of the CEO. The ability to acknowledge the failings of the business, mistakes made would help you quickly learn your lesson and bounce back instead of deflecting and pointing fingers at the unfriendly economy, government or even your team.
By taking responsibility, you discover that:
- The success of your business is 100% dependent on you NOT your competitors, the economy, past glory or business style.
- Comparison with other entrepreneurs would be eliminated because taking responsibility helps you become more confident and bold enough to be an original.
- You would no longer push aside marketing yourself and your brand. Instead, you would actively promote your business at any given opportunity.
- You would always want to learn so you would always be in the know. Lack of knowledge tends to make you start fabricating excuses.
- You would always want to be in good health because you know only a healthy person can successfully run a business.
- You would learn to take action and stop procrastinating.
- You would seek to impart a healthy business culture on your team members.
- You would ask for help or support where you need it.
- You would also have a life outside of work because you also learn from other experiences apart from reading.
Brian Koslow would say, “The more you are willing to take responsibility for your actions, the more credibility you would have”.