Responsibility – When is Enough Enough?

I had a conversation today with Joe Kupstas of Goodfellas. They’re doing a lot of things right. This is another. Joe asked me why I hadn’t posted lately. I replied that I hadn’t been so moved. He’s a great guy. I like being held accountable. Good job, Joe!

Incidentally, the above paragraph doesn’t have anything to do with the title or the subject of the post. I just wanted to give them a little link love.

When do you not have to be responsible?

If you recite the terms to your prospect, but they don’t hear them, are they responsible for not listening hard enough or are your responsible for making sure they heard?

If your prospect lies about their budget, their decision making authority, their interest, or anything else, are they responsible for lying or are you responsible for not uncovering the truth?

If your salesperson makes excuses about not keeping their commitments to number of calls or other behavior, who is responsible for what?

If your salesperson doesn’t close a piece of business, is it their responsibility to take responsibility for not getting the business, or is it your responsibility to debrief until you find out why?

If your business fails, whether it’s the idea, the economy, finances, luck, whatever, who is responsible?

Remember the overnight delivery service commercial that started with a business owner saying, “If we don’t get this delivered first thing in the morning, we’ll be out of business.” and ends showing cutrate delivery service showing up at the door that has an Out of Business sign tacked to it. Who is responsible, the person wanting the delivery on time or the person ignoring or not hearing the request?

Answer Key: You are always responsible. You are responsible for making sure they heard. You are responsible to uncover the truth. You are responsible to hold your salespeople accountable. It is your responsibility to debrief until you find out why. You are responsible. The person needing the on time delivery is responsible.

Think about a major league pitcher that gives up a home run. You think he’s trying to pin blame on the batter for being a good hitter? He’s talking to himself. He knows who made the mistake. He knows who’s responsible.

Think about the batter that strikes out. If it’s a called third strike, he reminds himself that with two strikes, you’ve got to be swinging if it’s close. If it’s a swinging third strike, he’s not cursing the pitcher for throwing a good pitch, he’s “coaching” himself, saying,”…eye on the ball.”

Think about the batter that tries to argue with the umpire about calling strikes and balls. Is he wasting his time? Might he get thrown out of the game. He’s responsible to hit the ball.

Here’s the short answer. You are responsible and the responsible person is typically the person that’s in control.

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3 thoughts on “Responsibility – When is Enough Enough?

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