A Job vs a Responsibility. Which do you have?

I recently re-read Jim Collin's book How the Mighty Fall. A must read for any leader. A must read for any employee. I highly recommend it. Collins lays out five principles for why the mighty fall, based on research done by his amazing team in their Boulder, CO research "bunker." His second principle on why the mighty fall is "the undisciplined pursuit of more." In this chapter, he talks at length about making sure you have the right people on your team, which is crucial to making sure you are staying on track and disciplined as an organization.

As he writes, "any exceptional enterprise depends first and foremost upon having self-managed and self-motivated people- the #1 ingredient for a culture of discipline.... If you have the right people, who accept responsibility, you don't need to have a lot of senseless rules and mindless bureaucracy..... When bureaucratic roles erode an ethic of freedom and responsibility within a framework of core values and demanding standards, you've become infected with the disease of mediocrity."

Wow. The right people on the team vs. the wrong people on the team. And as Collins states, a notable distinction between the wrong person and the right person is the way they view their role in the organization. The wrong person sees their role as a "job," while the right person sees their role as a set of "responsibilities." It is not about your job title, but more about your personal sense of ownership, buy in, discipline, and stewardship of responsibility.

What you hope that your team members are saying is "I'm the one person ultimately responsible for X and Y. When I look to the left, to the right, to the front, and to the back, there is no one ultimately responsible but me. And I accept that responsibility."

This is what you want your key people saying. A crucial ingredient to creating a culture of discipline within your organization.