Thursday, November 12, 2009

Guest Blogger on Responsibility

This month, I asked Jennifer Williams to be our guest blogger. Here are some of her thoughts on our guiding principle, Responsibility. Thank you, Jennifer!

The guiding principles that we embrace within FAS are important components of our culture, and our FAS values: Trust, Professionalism, Respect, Collaboration, and Responsibility set us apart by defining who we are and how we do business.

So this month, we’re talking about responsibility, and in FAS, there is a certain familiarity to responsibility because of the regulatory environment that we work in each day. Being in this division, we recognize the importance of meeting mandates and following policies, laws, and requirements, and we also recognize the personal accountability that comes with being responsible.

In this division, responsibility is centered on taking ownership of our actions and seeking positive solutions. And through focusing on the positive solutions, we are able to maintain our university-first attitudes by seeing how to fix a problem as opposed to blaming others for why the situation exists. In challenging times, such as these, it is important for us to ask the right questions: “what can we do?” and “how can we help?” instead of “why did that department do that?” or “who made the mistake?” or even, “why should I help - that’s not my problem”. Ineffective organizations place blame, but effective organizations focus on the future and how to turn the situation into a success.

It is times like these, when our leaders emerge by finding creative and positive solutions to problems that may or may not be within their purview. It is times like these, when we work together instead of placing blame on others to ensure that we are as effective as possible. It is times like these, when we should recognize how being accountable has led to our many accomplishments. And it is times like these, when we take on additional responsibilities in support of our university’s mission – our student’s success and our organization’s success is reliant on us fulfilling our responsibilities.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “the price of greatness is responsibility”.

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