RESPONSIBILITY QUOTIENT How willing and able you are at taking responsibility for your company's success.

I am easily interrupted. *

I end my days hopeful with measurable results accomplished. *

I feel like my circumstances always prevent me from accomplishing my goals. *

It's my job to maintain the client experience. *

When something absolutely needs to get done, I'm first in line. *

I'm happy to be in charge. *

All clients should be given the same priority. *

When something I'm responsible for is stuck, I'm known for providing a new way forward. *

I regularly anticipate and address problems prior to my clients complaining. *

The people who depend on me, trust me to find a way. *

Achieving measurable results drive me toward action. *

I love processes and systems. *

Low Responsibility Quotient

There is a lot of implicit responsibility when you are called leader. But, for whatever reason, you've given yourself permission not to take that mantle on. You've chosen passivity over activity and it shows. You often show up to meetings unprepared. You overcommit and under-deliver. You take meetings off the cuff. You rely on your charisma to cover for a lack of preparation.

In your client relationships, you feel like you are being taken advantage of on a regular basis. With those on your team, you assume they know what to do and should be doing it, even without clear direction from you. Your disposition deflates those that could advocate for your business. You're failing because of your circumstances. You wait for others to move. You lack intentionality. You’re reactive when you need to be proactive.

On a deeper level, your character is showing. The commitments and promises you've made, especially when they're small and easily written off, are not being accounted for. This, perhaps more than any other measurement in the BST, needs to change.

Your company needs a strong leader and that person is going to be you. For this to happen, you may need a serious dose of humility. The good news is you're already on that path by engaging this process.

Begin by asking for feedback of those around you and don't shy away from your critics. They may soon become your best advocates. Where do they wish you'd be more active as a responsible leader?

Focus on that feedback as you craft a new path for how you want to take responsibility for the success of your business. When you find yourself waiting on others, be the one to initiate. If you're scared of failing, get over it. Just start moving.

Begin with keeping little promises. Make it your habit to remember people's names and details. Take notes everywhere you go. Begin your own personal responsibility bootcamp. Notice the response people give you and refine your language. When you're tempted to emulate other company's visions that you're attracted to, resist. These may inspire you but if they don't flow from who you are as the leader, they won't serve your business. Ironically, it will slow down the process of discovering the right articulation of what your company should be about.
Medium Responsibility Quotient


You get what it means to take action, but you suffer from stretches of passivity. Your life is marked by cycles of enthusiasm and action followed by letting yourself off the hook. This mixed communication really confuses your team and clients. You have the knowledge of what needs to be done but you are frustrated that what is remembered by those folks are your moments of failure rather than your successes. In some ways, this is worse than being LOW on the Responsibility Quotient. You are conditioning people to not know when to trust you.

You as the leader might know what success looks like but it's not uncommon for your team and clients to complain that they feel under informed (if you're fortunate enough to hear from them before they move on entirely). The good news is you have a sense of what needs to be done. The challenge is you're avoiding the critical step of making that known to others and taking action consistently.

The issue here isn't that you can't lead. It's that your clients don't know when they can trust you. You need to create consistency on every level of your business. When you reflect on past clients, consider the highs and what went right as well as the lows and what went wrong. With these highs and lows as boundaries, your job is to stay between the lines. You don't need to hit the proverbial grand slam home run every time at bat as long as you don't strike out. Base hits will win the game.

Consistency is what will encourage trust in your clients and those that rely on you.

If you find yourself feeling misunderstood or that people don't appreciate you, interrupt that thinking. It doesn't serve you here. Regardless of your circumstances, others get to decide whether or not they trust you. Your job is to increase in your trustworthiness and that only happens on the heels of consistency. Don't let yourself off the hook, especially in the little things. Your clients will notice.
High Responsibility Quotient


You have the capacity and willingness to make decisions that provide clear directives, establish goals and define expectations, even when they're unpopular. You show up on time and are prepared. You bring your whole self to the table. You are present. You are active. You remember names and details. You never ask something of your team that you aren't willing to do yourself. You are conscious of the implications of what you are asking for.

You anticipate problems and prepare accordingly. When you meet with clients, you direct the conversation without feeling overbearing. People feel safe and taken care of with you. Even in the face of obstacles, you have a perspective of adventure rather than demise. If there's a need, you're not afraid to ask. Or, if you are afraid, you courageously step-up anyway. You are humble, looking for ways to do what's required to win. If those tasks are unattractive, your habit is to roll up your sleeves and get it done as efficiently as possible. You accept responsibility when mistakes are made and view the feedback as gifts, not complaints.

The advantage you have by ranking high in the Responsibility Quotient is you don't have much competition. This may in fact be your company's most effective competitive advantage.

Your job now is to not rest on your laurels.

Trust can erode or increase quickly. Most people who are truly responsible never think themselves as special. Taking responsibility is a normative characteristic of their leadership. You now have the opportunity to deputize others with the same character. Invite and empower those you work with to view their job as equally important. If everyone associated with your business took responsibility for their tasks as seriously as you do, nothing will ever get in the way of your success.

As the leader, it's your job to create that kind of culture.

Practically, continue to invite candid feedback to always have a gauge on how you're being perceived. Don't rest on past or current successes. Instead, look to increase personal accountability around your leadership responsibilities. This isn't always easy. When people just assume you're trustworthy, they can sometimes give you a false sense of confidence. But, we all know that everyone is susceptible to slip ups and given how much people believe in you, the consequences are more significant for someone in your shoes. Fortify your position as a trust agent.