Saturday, 26 March 2011

Take Responsibility!

“The true slogan of democracy is not ‘Let the government do it', but rather let’s do it ourselves”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Surely government, like leadership, is about vision, values and choices not creating a blame culture. We are living in dangerous times where everyone blames their actions on the failings of colleagues, partners or the previous team; what they did or didn't do.
We blame our parents for not sending us to the right school, we blame our partners for the state of our marriage, we blame our neighbours for the state of our community, we blame our bosses for our not enjoying work, we blame our teachers for not teaching well and we blame our local council or the government for everything else.

The blame culture has produced a nation of problem focused whingers instead of solution focused and responsible citizens. The more we continue to blame everyone else for every difficulty that arises, the more we keep our focus on the problem and give little or no time to thinking through the solutions to the problems we are facing. Sir Ken Robinson tells us that leadership is about choices, learning and intelligence and while it is important to acknowledge the problems in our lives, more energy should be focused on how to overcome them. With this sort of attitude, innovative ideas flourish and some of those ideas will lead to solutions to our problems.

We are seeing the product of the blame culture – intolerance, distrust, anger and impatience - and it has made us all believe our situation is worse than it really is; we have made enormous progress over the last ten great years, our schools aren't rubbish, our teachers aren't stupid, our relationships aren't fatally flawed and there is so much outstanding work to build the future on! We have so much to be grateful for, so what can we do to get rid of our destructive and unhelpful blame culture? The answer is simple; take responsibility! To remove the blame culture and the damage to wreaks in our personal and professional lives, we must accept responsibility for what happens to us. The message our colleague and friend Lou Tice has given us all over the years and the things we've learned from Investment in Excellence, STEPS, PX2 and the Education Leeds story; accept responsibility, define your goals, set out the steps you need to take and take action!

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