“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”Jim Rohn
Responsibility is something required of all of us in every area of our lives. We need to demonstrate responsibility in our families, when we’re at school, when we are at work, and in our community. Responsibility is one of the qualities that define a good leader. The Cambridge Dictionary defines responsibility as having good judgment and the ability to act correctly and make decisions on your own. All of the Moorelands Kids programs teach and demonstrate the Habits & Qualities of Leadership. We hope that young people learn to make wise decisions, which will set them apart as great, responsible leaders.
But how do we go about being responsible? Is it just something you are? Or can you learn to be responsible?
Here are some habits you can adopt which can help set you up to behave in responsible ways.
DECIDE and PLAN how you’re going proceed
- Have Goals and Work Towards Them: When you set SMART goals, you become responsible for owning the outcomes of your life. Your goals might be about completing homework on time, helping around the house, saving some money to buy something you want, or applying for a job.
- Do The Important Things First: Prioritizing means sorting through your responsibilities and ranking them based on importance, timeliness, and weight of the value of the task. This ensures that you don’t waste your time focusing on tasks of lower importance. TIME is something that you can’t control; it’s always going to pass. But how you use your time, THAT you CAN control.
- Stay on Track: Make sure that you focus on your goals and the prioritized tasks. It’s so easy to be distracted by things that are more fun, more entertaining, or more interesting. But when you spend your time on your goals, and when you keep your prioritized tasks on the top of your list, you will free up time to do the things that you enjoy!
Once these habits are a regular part of your life and routine, you are already showing that you can be responsible. When we teach young leaders how to be responsible, we define and quantify that with four key life qualities.
- Do what you are supposed to do: Leaders who are responsible are committed to following through with tasks and commitments. If you cannot be trusted to do what you are supposed to do, you will never be given more responsibility. Even when it’s hard, you are proving to your self and others that you are a leader who can be responsible.
- Use self-control: Having the discipline to control your words and your actions is evidence of a responsible leader. Self-control is needed when you face the temptation of doing the fun thing, instead of following through on your commitments. Self-control is needed when someone does something that hurts you or offends you. Self-control is needed when you have to do something that you really don’t want to do (homework isn’t always fun…neither is cleaning your room). When you want to be responsible, you use self-control.
- Think before you act and consider the consequences: Your actions always have consequences. Those consequences can be good as the result of good actions, or hard consequences based on poor actions. It’s easy to make hasty decisions in the heat of a moment. Good leaders show that they can be responsible when they pause, take a deep breath, and consider their options. How will my choice affect me? How will it affect my friends? Will it affect my family? Will my choices affect my future?
- You choose your attitudes, actions, and behaviours: We all have power. We possess the power over our responses. We can control our attitude. If you have a negative attitude, often your outlook on circumstances is negative. That makes it way harder to make good choices. We can control our actions. If you act like an irresponsible person, you will never be treated like you’re responsible. We can control our behaviours. Our behaviours say a lot about our character. If you behave in a way that is going to hurt other people, or in a way that says that you don’t care, people might not want to spend time with you. Your behaviour tells people how to treat you.
Being a good leader means that you decide and plan your actions. It means that you make a plan, that you prioritize, and that you set goals that will get you where you want to go. Being a good leader means that you will be responsible. You can demonstrate self-control, choose your behaviour and responses, and what you think about the consequences of your actions.
There are a lot of things in this world that we CANNOT control. But we CAN control our own choices. We can BE RESPONSIBLE.
Share Your Story!
Did you learn about being responsible at camp? Or how to set goals? Let us know, share your camp story in our contest!