CAN YOU DO THE MATH?

Oups! Soon we’ll have half of 2018 behind us… how have these last 6 months been for you? Do you need to adjust a few or many things?

For June, we have the letter “R” and I’ll get straight to the word of the month: RESPONSIBILITY. How does it resonate with you? Is it heavy or boring or sexy or fun or paralyzing or empowering or anything in-between these colorful options?

I believe that we lack good role models for RESPONSIBILITY in the public sphere and also in the corporate world. Don’t get me wrong: they do exist but they seem rather rare (maybe they avoid the spotlight!). One simple solution is to become oneself a good role model, even if we’re not a public personality or don’t have a manager or leader title. We can all be RESPONSIBLE leaders in our everyday lives.

I’ll share with you a concept that at first disturbed my mathematical mind. A well-known coach in Sweden once said that if two persons are involved in a conflict or problem or issue or project of any kind, each of them carries 100% RESPONSIBILITY. My brain wanted to hear that it would be 50%/50% as I assumed that the responsibility for the whole thing should be 100%…

When someone tells me about recurring conflicts with a colleague or a friend, I like to say that “it takes two to tango”. With that I mean that both persons have something to do with that conflict, even if from an involved point of view that may not seem to be the case (from an involved point of view, the other seems to be the problem). If I transpose such a situation to dancing, each dancer is in fact 100% RESPONSIBLE to dance according to the required steps and to make it fit with the partner. So, I slowly but surely started to like the concept of that Swedish coach…

Remember the orchestra from March (you’ll find the blog here)? It’s the same concept. Each and every musician is 100% RESPONSIBLE for his/her part and for its harmony with the orchestra. One cannot say that a musician is less responsible because there are only a few notes to be played for his/her instrument! (that could also become a complicated calculation).

So according to this concept… if there are N persons involved, it means that the total RESPONSIBILITY will amount to N times 100%!!! Yes, each and everyone is RESPONSIBLE to 100% and the whole group is responsible to Nx100%. Can you sell this concept to your team and even to your family? I like the concept because it is simple: for each person 100%. Easy mathematics. I think it brings fun and clarity and helps everyone to « grow a strong backbone ».

If you’ve been following the FIFA World Cup these days, you know that the German team (the defenders of the title) played way below its potential and is already out of the tournament after the group qualifications. They flew back to Germany yesterday and everyone wants to know the reason or the reasons why this could happen. Interestingly, the head coach of the team clearly said in an interview that he takes the full responsiblity for what happened. At the same time, the captain says that he and his teammates are responsible for not having done their job on the field. They all seem to understand the concept… still, RESPONSIBLITY seems to feel heavy for them these days… If from the beginning of the tournament they would have carried this RESPONSIBLITY with fun and ease… Maybe the results would have been different? I guess we could speculate for days!

If you are the kind of person who carries more than 100% RESPONSIBILITY, it means that others around you carry less than their fair part! Maybe because you don’t let them carry their fair part… or there are other reasons for that imbalance. So it’s clearly time to make some adjustments, like for examples: to delegate more, to micro-manage less, to send your perfectionism to the moon, to simply put on the brakes when 100% is reached, maybe even to change job…

And if you’ve found a role model for RESPONSIBILITY, learn from that person to become one too! The world needs that!

I leave you with this:

100% RESPONSIBILITY. NO LESS. NO MORE.

Inspiringly yours,
Caroline