Ep. 194 Authority vs Accountability: A New Perspective in Leadership
Joe Pici works with team leaders and others on increasing productivity with strategies to help your team ‘step up to the plate’.
Get ready for an unfair advantage over your competition. This is The Sales Edge podcast. Where globally recognized sales expert and trainer Joe Pici helps you sharpen your skills for booking for appointments and closing more deals. And now here’s your host Joe Pici.
Joe Pici (JP):
Hey team, This is Joe Pici of The Sales Edge. This is podcast number 194. And so thank you for coming and today we’re going to be talking over about responsibility versus authority. In this podcast, what you’re going to learn is the importance of taking responsibility, the components of responsibility, but not allowing your lack of quote-unquote given authority to get in the way of you helping your company, your team, get better by taking responsibility. And so let’s move forward. And thank you so much for being part of The Sales Edge podcast. We are certainly growing around the globe over a hundred countries now and the downloads are getting more and more and we’re getting better and better guests and more feedback. And that’s what we really want from you is feedback. Part of that is is you taking responsibility to help us with quality control.
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And so as we’re moving forward today, you know, I’ve done some podcasts on the importance of taking responsibility, but we’re going to take another gear and another direction today. You know being responsible, I believe this is one of the probably the most important characteristics that we should possess. You know being responsible is being dependable. You know, it’s honoring all of our commitments. It’s accepting the consequences for what we say or do. It’s being answerable and accountable for one’s power, control, projects, and interactions. You know the responsibility for success or failure relies with me and that’s the important thing. I’m going to give you some of the characteristics. Like I said, this is one podcast but there’s two facets of it.
One is going to be about the components of responsibility and the second part is how accountability coincide or versus authority. So when we look at some of the components of responsibility, we look at that people who take responsibility knowledge and fully appreciate the law of cause and effect. They believe nothing happens by chance. You know, there’s no such thing as it just happened. Somebody’s responsible. Somebody’s in charge. Somebody has to take responsibility.
Number two. They’re a hundred percent responsible for whatever happens, no matter what. I have a plaque, that I take with me when I’m training. It’s sitsin my office. It says “I’m responsible”. I decided a long time ago that I would take the responsibility for success or failure everything I touch. If it’s a communications with another person, no matter what, I’m going to take the responsibility for it. And so we have to recognize and you may want to look up the difference between responsibility and blame but responsibility is important.
Number three, they don’t hide behind reasons of why results are not being accomplished. So there there is no reason why things don’t get done, never make an excuse. Responsible people never make excuses in the second chapter of the magic of thinking big they never exercise excuse-itis.
Number four, they transform major issues in their lives by first transforming the relationships to circumstances. So these people are very proactive about transformation on with their relationships and their circumstances.
The next one is they really utter the word “because”. It’s a word that’s that ineffective hide behind. It didn’t get done, because. I wasn’t on time, because. We’re not moving forward, because. And so people who take responsibility do not even have that in their vocabulary. And if you look at the root word that you really, you know, a friend of mine said Joe you Wordsmith. I love words. I love what words mean. I always like to go and look at what does the dictionary say that this word means? So look at the word, because.
Another one. They uncovered the limiting paradigms. They are allowing to their organizations and transform them into a stand for what’s possible. So what they’re going to do is they’re going to dissolve limiting beliefs. They’re going to resolve some of those those hurdles of we can’t do this, because. This is all a pattern. This becomes a pattern in a person’s life.
Okay, the next one they they affirm their ultimate power to say how it’s going to be and then make sure that’s the way it is. So, I’m not talking about being bossy, but they have the ability to take charge. They’re not willing to put their name on something, to stamp their name on it. I’m responsible for success or failure. Okay, if it’s to be, it’s up to me.
Next they hold themselves and others accountable by making sure everyone in the organization relates to each other according to professional roles and accountability. Now, this is powerful and vital. A person who takes responsibility is going to make sure that entire organizations are on the same page. They understand their roles. They understand their accountabilities and there’s a communication messaging throughout the organization that keeps everybody on task.
And this is very important. I see so many times. Nobody wants to take the responsibility for putting a stake in the ground and saying this is where we’re going, this is the accountability standards. And I would say that accountability is such a big part of responsibility.
Next one is they are aware of the conversations they engage in and are a hundred percent responsible. Let me share what I mean by that. In all communications. It can be positive, it can be negative. When a person takes responsibility, they decide no matter what happens, they will take the responsibility for proper communications. And so in the disc model of human behavior as we’ve all learned it whether it’s Myers-Briggs, animals, colors, disc, people communicate in different styles. People tend to communicate in their base style. Whereas a person who takes responsibility, is willing to take the responsibility to adapt to the other people, the other person, the other groups, behavioral processing needs.
And I can tell you that will go a long way because, if you communicate to someone in their receiving style, you’re taking the responsibility, you’re going to get more done. But in the other side is never put it on them to do it. So I take the responsibility for all interaction. If it goes sideways, if we did not communicate correctly, It’s my responsibility. It’s my responsibility.
The next one they take complete responsibility for the conversations that take place throughout their organizations, corporately. And so, you know, this is just I mean I do so much with communications. I’m in and out of companies all the time and I’m with people all the time and I can tell you that, you can always tell, you could always see that person who has taken responsibility for the positive interaction.
So let’s move on I’m gonna give you some of the characteristics of people who choose not to take responsibility. And this is not pointing any fingers, but these are black and white characteristics of people who say I’m not responsible. The first thing they tend to do is blame others for mistakes and failures. It’s not my fault. It’s so and so’s fault. And I can tell you I had the for I have a training I do on the four stages of a declining business. And stage four when things are going absolutely sideways and you already beginning of losing good people, good clients, and maybe your company. Is when we begin to get in the blame game. It’s always someone else’s fault.
Number two. People or organizations that don’t take responsibility are missing deadlines. They miss their timeline and deadlines.
Number three. They avoid challenges, tests, and projects. Because they don’t want to take a risk. This is huge on the responsibility chart.
Number four. Regularly complaining about unfair treatment by team leaders and team members and they engage in self pity. And folks, I talk to people all the time where they have the woe-is-me attitude. It’s not their responsibility. It’s someone else’s fault. And those are people who refuse to take responsibility.
Number five. They avoid taking initiative and being dependent on others for work advice and instructions. So they don’t want to be the lead. They want to count on other people all the time. They don’t want to be the initiator.
Or the next one. Lacking trust in team members and leaders. So because they don’t have responsibilities in their core, they tend not to trust team members, or their supervisors, or people around them.
Next they make excuses regularly. It’s not my fault. It’s unfair. It’s not my job. It’s not my responsibility. So these are all characteristics of those folks that don’t want to take responsibility.
A couple quotes before I move into segments two here. “The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.” That’s Steve Maraboli.
Here’s another one. “Accept responsibility for your actions. Be accountable for your results. Take ownership of your mistakes.” That’s Mr. Anonymous.
Here’s another one by Dr. Denis Waitley. “There are two primary choices in life. To accept conditions as they exist or to accept the responsibility for changing them.” Powerful.
Another one. “You are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel.”
Stephen Covey once wrote, “accountability breeds responsibility.”
And here’s a great one. “One day I realized that everything that I get out of life is exclusively a result of my actions. I took responsibility and that is the day I became a man.”
And the last one by Jim Rohn, who’s incredible. “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
So we have a baseline now of responsibility. Now I want to address the difference or how authority and responsibility play together and don’t play together. You see authority is given, its a title, It’s a posistion. It’s something that you’re given by management, your you own a company, you have authority. Responsibility is something you take, you earn it. It’s on me.
And so, so many people believe that they cannot be responsible without authority. I’m not allowed to do that. And I will tell you in my own situation as you know, I’m a consultant. I’m a coach. I’m a trainer. I’m a speaker. Companies and individuals hire me, they hire me to come in and help them grow their companies, grow their businesses, and many times I see things that are outside of the realm of what they’re paying me for. And now I have a decision, do I take do I say, I have no authority, it’s none of my business or do I take the responsibility of sitting down with the powers to be and making recommendations. Whether it’s for free or fee? That’s a fine line right there because, if I’m concerned at they’re not going to like what I say, it could lose me a contract. But if my motive is to help them grow, to get better, then I become a catalyst. I become an advocate. I become a consultant. And I’m going to take the responsibility to help them get better.
Okay, I mean many times I go into a place to coach or train and they’re supposed to have a room setup, they’re supposed to have this done. And I don’t wait for them. I take the responsibility of getting everything done because it’s not about position. It’s not about title. It’s about getting things better. You know, we don’t need a title, a budget, or an authority to make the organization, the company, better.
You know, I never want to hear and I never say it’s not my job. We need to own the responsibility of improving a team, a project, communications, our clients. You know, everything around us we take responsibility.
Unhealthy here’s something that’s unhealthy. To know something is broken. To know something is not working. To know something is wrong and not to take the responsibility to fix it. Let’s never allow a lack of authority to get in the way of responsibility. Now, of course, we have to be professional about it. But here’s the alert.
Okay. Let’s create the culture folks that allows people the freedom of making suggestions. Let’s not build the silos in our companies, in our organizations, to a point where nobody feels comfortable saying something about what’s going on over there, if it will make the company better. This is not to make me look good. This is to make the company, the organization, better.
You know, we have to be willing to handle constructive and not be on the defensive and not and not attack. I’ve always said read the book Leadership and Self-Deception. It’s a good book. The day we are not open for other people in our organization, our clients, whatever, to make suggestions, they’re going to stop talking to us. And we’re going to lose an asset of getting better.
Let’s take the responsibility of making everything around us better. Whether it’s our job or not. You know, it’s not about who owns the title. It’s about who brings the asset to the company, to the project, to make it better. At the end of the day everyone wins.
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