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What is Responsibility Based Management, Engaging Leadership?
January 2010

See the end of the column for information about Engaging Leadership, a one-day seminar I’ll conduct in late February in the Philadelphia area.

Whether you call it “Responsibility Based Management,” or “Responsibility Based Culture,” or anything else, it’s all about displaying leadership that promotes people taking personal responsibility for their actions, and the results they achieve.

This month’s topic comes from a new subscriber in the Midwest. He was interested in “Responsibility Based Management,” and wanted to know if I had any information on it.

Well, I should hope so.

Although I may not have labeled it as such in previous columns, Creating a Responsibility Based Culture is what I’m all about.

I talk about it, breathe it, try to live it.

I describe it as leading in a way that gets yourself and those around you more engaged in the work, more committed to the organization’s goals, and more productive in the workplace.

This leadership style reflects a belief that most people want to do a good job, and care about the work they do.

It’s a leadership that’s very flexible, since it combines giving people the tools to get the job done, and being straightforward in dealing with conflict, especially performance that is below standard.

The importance of Trust, the elements of Trust (Congruence, Openness, Acceptance, Reliability). Alignment with Purpose, Vision, and Values. Emphasizing the noble purpose, serving customers and meeting their needs, treating people with dignity and respect.

Engaging Leadership is another term for it. It promotes the philosophy that if you want to change others, or change the organization, you first must change yourself, and commit to continuous improvement.

For me, that means that I want to be better today than I was yesterday. And I darn sure want to be better tomorrow than I am today.

It means that when something goes wrong, or you’re not getting the performance you want out of your team, you don’t play the blame game. No, you look in the mirror first, and ask the hard question, “What am I doing that’s responsible for these results?”

Responsibility Based Leadership says that YOU are the CEO of your job, whether you’re the President and CEO of the company, or a division head, or plant manager, team leader or frontline employee.

It recognizes that although you can’t control other people, or certain circumstances, you CAN try to control your attitude, and your responses to those people or circumstances.

It’s about understanding yourself, other people, and how to effectively manage your relationships with other people.

The above isn’t all I know about Engaging Leadership, or Responsibility Based Leadership, but it’s a start.

If you’re really interested in this topic, save either of these dates: Thursday February 25, or Tuesday March 2. Each day I’ll lead the one day seminar, Engaging Leadership: Three Key Attributes for Thriving in Turbulent Times. More details next month!

Until next edition, keep leading the way!


alumni@drexel.edu