By Master Sgt. Jerome Carter , 460th Military Equal Opportunity Office
/ Published December 27, 2006
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Most leaders love it, followers want it, but unlike authority, responsibility cannot be delegated.
Responsibility is a cause often times directed by policy, law or regulations. However, we have inherent responsibilities as officers, non-commissioned officers and as parents.
Responsibility, like many things in life, is not void of challenges. The very challenge that makes or breaks us as leaders, in the home or office serves as the catalyst to welcome responsibility.
Mr. Brooks Atkinson, author of "Once Around the Sun," hypothesizes leadership by writing, "The perfect bureaucrat everywhere is the man who manages to make no decisions and escapes all responsibility."
So what are you responsible for? Forming effective teams, sustaining operations and addressing interpersonal conflict are all fundamental responsibilities of a military leader; the list goes on.
Success cannot be gained without recognizing and accepting responsibility. Seek it. Challenge it. Embrace it. But remember, you cannot delegate it. The professionals you work with not only lose faith in your leadership and personal motivation if you shun yours, but they will seek to avoid their own.
There are many on-base agencies well-equipped to assist you in navigating these sometimes turbulent waters. The Inspector General, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Military Equal Opportunity and others are here to provide support, advice and counseling services in the most difficult times.
Ineffective leaders wait for a policy, law or regulation to thrust into action. Responsibility and duty are synonymous and it comes with the title and paycheck for that matter. Trust me; there are many nights I have gone to bed thinking of an arduous task requiring my attention and action the following day. We've all been there. Attacking the situation head on and achieving positive completion -- brings greater reward. So be, and act, responsible. It will make life and the workplace a great deal more efficient and enjoyable for all of us.