Crippled CEO Blog #180:
Recently, I was in the offices of Life Saver Pool Fence, doing my crippled CEO thing, when I started assisting one of our most amazing people — to protect his anonymity, we will refer to him as Michael Doscher — with an issue he was trying to resolve. At some point in the conversation, I told him, “It’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility.“
After the talk was over, I found myself reflecting back on that phrase. It’s a powerful idea, and one that I think is overlooked by so many people, because it really is counterintuitive.
How can something not be your fault, but still be your responsibility?
Because we don’t always get to choose the cards were dealt, but we still do have to play them. It’s not my fault that I was born with cerebral palsy, but it is my responsibility to try to manage it as best as I can, to live the best life possible, to be as healthy as possible, and to try to accomplish whatever I can in spite of it.
It’s not our fault if we get a bad batch of mesh from our supplier, but it is our responsibility to replace any unsatisfactory products we ship out.
It’s not your fault if you had terrible parents, but it is your responsibility to figure out how to move forward without them.
It’s not your fault if you have a thyroid condition that makes it hard to lose weight, but it is your responsibility to still do as much as you can.
It’s not your fault if a bird poops on your car, but you still have to clean it off before it damages the paint.
Lots of things aren’t our fault, but that doesn’t get us off of the hook for the responsibility. And that’s a good thing. Fault is about looking back, figuring out who’s to blame. Responsibility? That’s about looking forward, dealing with the mess – regardless of who caused it.
When you take responsibility, it means you’re not a victim of circumstances, but a driver of outcomes. It’s about being proactive, not reactive. You’re in control of your fate even when handling the things outside of your control.
Next time something goes wrong, and it’s not your fault, ask yourself, “Is it still my responsibility?” Embrace that responsibility, and you’ll be amazed at how much control you can have, not just at work, but in life.
(Do you know who was responsible for waking up my neighbors last night? Your mom. She said it was my fault, but she was responsible. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)