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The Responsibility Strength

Over the next several weeks months I’ll be posting about my top 5 StrengthsFinder Strengths: Futuristic, Strategic, Responsibility, Restorative, and Competition.

The price of greatness is responsibility. --Sir Winston Churchill

Of all five of my original Strengths, I think Responsibility is the most dangerous. The Gallup Report says this:

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.

Boy, is that ever true. When combined with my fourth theme of Restorative, I end up wanting to take on a lot of projects. The Responsibility theme, however, commits me mentally to the task at hand. During college I over-committed myself is so many ways. My senior year I was Station Manager of our campus radio station, Executive Director of a $300k music festival, got married, and graduated. I am stressed out, but I do it to myself.

What is hardest is that I can't allow myself to cut corners. I focus on efficiency – which helps – but in turn, quality wins out over everything else. People with responsibility take finishing a job seriously. If we commit to a deadline, we meet that deadline, no matter what the cost. If we promise results, we get those results. Our reputation hinges on fulfilling what we say we'll do.

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.

This is hustle to the nth degree. Those people you see that work all the time and won't stop until everything is perfect... yeah, they more likely than not have Responsibility in their Strengths profile. We are pragmatic when it comes to work because we are serious about coming through, finishing, and doing it right.

For me, because I do take on a lot, responsibility pushes me to the last-minute solution at times. I'll stay up all night long to get something done. I've had to train myself to be selective about what I take on, because I know how much I'll invest in it. I am mentally and physically affected by projects I promise to do. Working in teams can be difficult; if I'm on a team and we're not hitting the deadlines, I make sure we do. I'll take on whatever work still needs to be done and get it finished.

I do love my Responsibility strength. It's one of the reasons I have the reputation I do. At the same time, it drives me nuts and wears me out.

Want to find out about your strengths? Pick up the book.