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Michael E. Angier

By Michael Angier

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Be Responsible

Mayor Rudy Giuliani has a two-word sign on his desk that says, "I'm Responsible." And he lives by it.

He does his best to be fully accountable for what he does and what he fails to do. And he always expects full accountability from everyone who works for him—when he was mayor, when he was a prosecutor and now as a highly sought-after consultant.

Unfortunately, people who take full responsibility for themselves are the exception rather than the rule. Today, too many people refuse to take responsibility for themselves and instead sue others, not because they were negligent, but because they simply have deep pockets. And all of us pay for this in higher insurance premiums and added service costs.

Most people are too quick to fix the blame instead of fixing the problem.

Taking responsibility is not just the right thing to do, it's a practical and effective thing to do. When you explain away your actions and make excuses, you weaken yourself—in your own estimation and in the eyes of others. People don't expect you to be perfect; they DO want you to be responsible.

Action Point
Resolve to be responsible. Don't complain or explain. Instead, take responsibility. Be accountable, and you'll stand head and shoulders above the masses.

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Last Updated 09/15/2004