Saturday, December 03, 2005
What drives you crazy at work? If you performed a pareto analysis of the things that unnerve you, what would the top five look like?
Somewhere in my top five would be the failure of people to take ownership of responsibilities and their actions. Such a culture breeds finger pointing and is not conducive to creating and maintaining a world class organization. The symptoms are numerous quality problems, disgruntled employess, and dissastified customers.
If something belongs to you, own it! If you feel like it doesn't belong to you, politely push back but do so through your manager. If you don't truly own it, you may need to temporarily until the system can be fixed (by management). Now, if your manager does not support you, this is another story.
If you make a mistake, admit it and move on! Don't worry about the consequences. Figure out why the mistake was made and take actions to prevent future occurrences.
I read this quote in today's paper. It is a statement about taking responsibility: "Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air, and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone."
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was prepared to issue this note if the invasion of Normany (D-Day) failed. Obviously, it did not and the note was never published.