Book Notes: The Responsibility Process

The Responsibility Process: Unlocking Your Natural Ability to Live and Lead with Power by Christopher Avery
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The stages of the responsibility process are easy to spot in others but the hard part is spotting them in ourselves. Once we do we have to make an active decision to want to progress to the next stage which in itself can be tough.

In organisations Accountability and Responsibility are regularly used interchangeably but in reality they are very different:
Accountability : this is external, others decide if you are accountable for something. Driving accountability is seen as “achieve X or feel the consequences”, as fear goes up responsibility goes down.
Responsibility : this is internally how we feel about things and is a more powerful determination of action and result. Responsibility is a feeling of ownership and pride.

Positional leaders at all levels place holding others to account ahead of developing personal responsibility. As a result work and workers suffer.

Denial – Ignoring something either through choice or through limited understanding
Blame Others (Lay Blame) – It’s easy and natural to blame others for something which has happened.
Justify – If we can move on from blaming people then we justify it because of the situation or things outside of your control.
Blame Ourselves (Shame) – Shame is the first step of taking ownership of an issue and initially we feel bad that we blamed others or justified it externally and now realise its us.
Obligation – We feel trapped, burdened and that we have no choice. Feeling that “I have to” – where our true desires are at odds with our perceived reality. In this mental state you don’t perform well – e.g. not really being present in a meeting – and resentment.
Quit – This is where you think you have parked a problem, but it is just temporary and it will return costing you more mental and emotional energy. “That’s a problem for later”, “Only 13 year and 2 months to retirement”….
Responsibility – We feel free, powerful, and safe – you trust that you have sufficient intelligence, creativity and resource to face whatever life brings. We make choices, multiple choices lead to us creating a desired experience compared to attracting experiences which are more complex and less linear.

In Denial, Blame Others, Justify, Blame Ourselves, Obligation & QuitIn Responsibility
Our reasoning is simplistic and restricted by our mental state.We have available to us the entire complex probabilistic reasoning capabilities of our extraordinary mind.
Our logic is mechanical, looking at simplistic cause and effect.Our logic is holistic, taking a systems view of all the interrelated elements in our lives, work and relationships.
We are driven by anxiety.We are pulled by what we truly want in life, at work, in relationships, both for the long term and for this situational problem moment right now.
We are fairly weak.We are incredibly strong.
We are constrained by our reality.We craft our reality.
We are victims.We are agents.
We have problems that are more powerful than we are.We know that we are more powerful than any problem we face.

To take on the task of being a 100% responsible person you need three keys:
Intention : An active intention to take responsibility by asking yourself “How can I?
Awareness : When we feel frustrated identify which mental state we are so we can improve
Confront : You must face and examine the perceived conflict in your mind to grow

You can use the Catch Sooner framework to actively work on personal issues.
1. Catch : Catch yourself performing the action you want to change.
2. Change : Determine the desired behaviour
3. Forgive : Forgive yourself for being human and not changing faster due to unconscious programming or conditioning
4. Vow : Vow to catch yourself sooner next time

Lead yourself first – some people see the others as the problem and want to resolve their issues, but you can’t do that you can only grow and develop yourself. Take every opportunity to learn. Use the phrase “What do I want?” rather than “What should I do?”

So many people assume they can’t make much of a difference in groups unless they are given authority over others in the group. However in group settings, these same individuals admit seeing either a positive or negative difference that others make.

For others to follow you you must first study, demonstrate, ask then teach others the responsibility process – without fully embracing it yourself others will see through you and not fully you into your message.

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