Strengths Coaching Blog

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Responsibility: Building Your Filter of Integrity - Theme Thursday Season 3

On this Theme Thursday Season Three webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Responsibility with guest Kyle Perry.





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Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done. When people come to you for help — and they soon will — you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.


There is an emotional aspect to this executing theme. It is about psychological commitment to the promises you make. It is about fulfilling on an external to-do list. Responsibility is not just about what you tell yourself you will do, but what you promise others. Responsibility translates to others not just as an executing strength, but as loyalty and integrity. It is the commitment to doing not only what you say you are going to do, but doing those things well. At its heart, Responsibility is a conscientiousness on delivering what you say you will deliver. Not only is it an obsession for doing things right, but it also is about doing the right thing. Your impeccable ethics combine to create your reputation that is utterly dependable. When others come to you for help you have to be selective. Your willingness to volunteer can sometimes lead you to take on more than you should, or more than you can be excellent at. 

The leadership aspect around Responsibility is not just about your priorities, but your team’s priorities. Your Responsibility excels at having your ear to the ground on what your team or organization has promised, and being able to fulfill upon that promise. Responsibility sorts based on what you have already committed to delivering. In its best most mature form, Responsibility doesn’t let you get distracted from what could take away from your promises. 

Make sure that you can put words to what leadership promise you are making. Think about the extension of your Responsibility as being not just how you fulfill your commitments, but what you get ahead of. How can you tell people what to expect from you? What is the emotional commitment you want to make to your followers? People high in Responsibility tend to be self-starters. You might not need a lot of external motivation. Because you don’t need people to start you up, it is important to share with others what starts you. If you can name and nurture what motivates you, then you can help others know you better and authentically anticipate when you’re going to execute. 

You may prefer to do things on your own rather than delegating, however, managers are finding that it’s not their job to just do it all, but it is their job to lead others to do it all. Find compelling reasons to share the burden of what you’re doing. Openly discuss what your promises look like. Get to know the people on your team, and what motivates them. This way when you’re delegating you’re seeing it as a fulfillment of the value proposition you have put out there for your followers. 

Build trust with your Responsibility by acknowledging your followers that do things right. There is a filter in Responsibility for integrity, so when you notice this in other people, share that lens that you have. It could be a behavior in someone that you notice that you wish others had. Call that behavior out and tell people that you notice it. Find a way to appreciate these gifts. You can build stability by not trying to shoulder everything on your own. It is easy for people high in Responsibility to keep saying yes. Find a way to trust others who can also execute with you and spread that responsibility around. That way as they are following you they know there is not too much weight on your shoulders. Compassion can be spread by checking in with those you feel responsible for, and apologizing right away for any mistakes. Finally, hope can be found in Responsibility by invoking ownership rather than delegation. You can do this by asking your followers what they feel most inclined to own. It is not so much about giving others part of your job, but inspiring ownership in those that follow you. 

How do you feel about the Responsibility Theme in a leadership role? Share your thoughts and experiences on the Called to Coach Facebook page.

Pressed for time? We now have all of our Theme Thursday videos in short, easy-to-digest snippets and other Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches break down the nuances of each theme.

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Kyle Perry is a learning and talent development professional who helps individuals and organizations become better versions of themselves through meaningful learning experiences. He's currently the Director of Learning and Development at the American Farm Bureau Federation where he leads the learning, training, and organization development initiatives for the organization. Kyle has a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology, both from the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. He also holds the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance credential from the Association for Talent Development and serves on the Metro DC ATD Chapter Board of Directors. He grew up on a farm in Nebraska and currently lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Catharine.



Kyle's top 6 strengths are: Learner | Achiever | Context | Individualization | Analytical | Responsibility. 

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