Seek and take responsibility for your actions

(Adapted from “Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions”)

For professional development, you must actively seek out challenging assignments. You must use initiative and sound judgment when trying to accomplish tasks that are not required by your job title. Seeking responsibilities also means that you take responsibility for your actions. You are responsible for all your staff does or fails to do. Regardless of the actions of your employees, the responsibility for decisions and their application falls on you. You must issue all orders in your name. Stick by your convictions and do what you think is right, but accept justified and constructive criticism. Never remove or demote an employee for a failure that is the result of your own mistake.

  1. Learn the duties of your immediate superior, and be prepared to accept the responsibilities of these duties.
  2. Seek different leadership positions that will give you experience in accepting responsibility in different types of tasks.
  3. Take every opportunity that offers increased responsibility.
  4. Perform every act, large or small, to the best of your ability. Your reward will be increased opportunity to perform bigger and more important tasks.
  5. Stand up for what you think is right; have the courage of your convictions.
  6. Carefully evaluate a staff member’s failure before taking action. Make sure the apparent shortcomings are not due to an error on your part.
  7. In the absence of assignments, take the initiative to perform the actions you believe your superior would direct you to perform if he/she were present.

This was the last of our series on Marine Principles adapted for the work place. I hope you’ve enjoyed this and can put these principles into action in your work place.

~ Jody Victor

Make sure to assign tasks according to your staff’s capabilities

(Adapted from Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.)

Successful completion of a task depends upon how well you know your staff’s capabilities. If the task assigned is one that your staff has not been trained to do, failure is very likely to result. Failures lower your staff’s morale and self esteem. You wouldn’t send a sales clerk to do your books nor would you send one employee to do the job of five. Seek out challenging tasks for your staff, but be sure they are prepared for and have the ability to successfully complete their responsibilities.

  1. Do not volunteer your employees for tasks they are not capable of completing. Not only will they fail, but your staff will think you are seeking personal glory.
  2. Keep yourself informed as to the effectiveness of your staff’s capabilities.
  3. Be sure that tasks assigned are reasonable.
  4. Analyze all assigned tasks. If the means at your disposal are inadequate, inform your immediate supervisor and request the necessary support.
  5. Assign tasks equally among your employees.
  6. Use the full capabilities of your staff before requesting assistance.

Make sound and timely decisions

(Adapted from Marine Principles “Make sound and timely decisions”)

A leader must be able to assess a situation and make a sound decision based on that assessment. Hesitation or a reluctance to make a decision leads your staff to lose confidence in your abilities as a leader. Loss of confidence will then create confusion and hesitation with your staff.

Once you make a decision and discover it is the wrong one, don’t hesitate to revise your decision. Your staff will respect the leader who corrects mistakes immediately instead of trying to bluff through a poor decision.

  1. Develop a logical and orderly thought process by practicing objective estimates of the situation.
  2. When time and situation permit, plan for every possible event that can reasonably be foreseen.
  3. Consider the advice and suggestions of your staff whenever possible before making decisions.
  4. Announce decisions in time to allow your staff to make necessary plans.
  5. Encourage your staff to estimate and make plans at the same time you do.
  6. Make sure your staff is familiar with your policies and plans.
  7. Consider the effects of your decisions on all members of your team.

~ Jody Victor