How do we know when enough is enough?
Responsibility is not an easy task. In life in general. In leadership. Responsibility takes us outside of ourselves and creates within us the weight of pushing on for another’s sake. Responsibility tends to account for the group, the team, the whole big picture rather than our measly little corner of it. Responsibility says, “I’ll do it!” When the head or heart may be saying, “I most certainly will not!” It brings the balance.
Since I have begun a career life, I continually cycle through thinking about being in a different job or position. I can never seem to excitedly line up my passion and my day to day work for more than a year. I do stay in jobs for about five years, but somewhere after the shiny gold leaf has worn off, I begin spinning a nasty cycle of thinking how great something else would be. I thought my first real job I got after college would be the end all. It was at a non-profit, exactly where I wanted to be, this was IT. I could responsibly learn to live and pay bills and rent and be a very responsible grown-up. And then everything changed. I got married, and my spouse wasn’t in love with his job, but out of responsibility stayed. So when he urged me into my current job, responsibility took over and I said yes.
By saying yes to responsibility, I gave freedom to my spouse to explore other options and leave a place he had had enough of.
Maybe we know enough is enough when our responsibility takes us elsewhere. Responsibility makes us uncomfortable so that others may experience comfort.
As a leader, responsibility is nothing if we do not fully understand why we do what we do. In a relationship we know why. It’s that unspoken bond, that thing that can’t be put into words, that everything and nothing at the same time. We wouldn’t dream of not carrying responsibility.
My leadership is driven by my belief in serving others and creating a meaningful workplace. I will challenge anything that goes against that core belief of mine. I believe that others deserve their best life, they deserve to know how to uncover their own meaning in their work, and people deserve the freedom to make their own responsibility. I guess I feel responsible for others responsibility.
So when is enough, enough? Maybe it is when we stop feeling responsible because someone else has decided they should be responsible for us.