Take Responsibility for Your Actions. Deal with Things as They Come Up.

Take responsibility for your actions. As a leader, it's yours to feel or deal with. Deal with things as they come up. 

Some people plunge themselves into their work. They use their circumstances as an excuse for not dealing with emotional crises when they come up.


Managing relationships with people is crucial. Avoid effective communication and dealing with relationships, and pretty soon there is a mini-crisis to deal with, and valuable time and energy is lost.

As far as possible try to bring any item with potential emotional after-effects to conclusion right then and there. The more things you deal with now, the less people challenges you will have to think about and work on later.

You have heard the saying, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” In this case it has a lot of truth to it. Be very aware of what is happening with people. Don’t turn a blind eye when they require attention. Take decisive action. Respect people, speak truthfully and always reach for clarity in content and outcomes.

"If you want to succeed, you must take responsibility. You must be proactive and take charge. And that means, you must be prepared to change. If your problems are not your own, how can you change?"  

Dr. Ron Jenson, Make a Life

Five Days of Coaching to Help You Take Responsibility for Your Actions


It's one thing to leave an important matter until you can devote your full attention to it. It's quite another to use time as an excuse for not facing it. This isn't about letting interruptions control your day. It's about taking care of important things as they come up. Today, think about the important things you turn a blind eye to when they come up. Resolve to change  this behavior.

The Coach asks:

  • Lately, what important people or communication things have you let slide because - honestly - you wanted to avoid talking about it, sidestep a confrontation, didn't want to deliver the news, etc. Make a list. It's a simple start to take responsibility for your actions. 
  • What sort of an excuse did you give for not dealing with "it?" Do you seem to have a "default" excuse? Is it truth, convenient part truth, or an outright made up story? How does this make you feel? 
  • An important question .. How willing are you to work on dealing with "emotional" things as they come up in the workplace, or at home? It might not be easy for you. You may have been used to ducking situations that make you feel uncomfortable. How intentional are you willing to be?
  • Resolve to not make excuses for the rest of this week. See what happens.


What sorts of relationship things do you wish you didn't have to deal with? Today, tough as it may be, deal with the situation when it arises. Do it for the whole day. Don't make excuses.

The Coach asks:

  • If nothing comes up for today, remember back to a recent occurrence. Take the time to think about what it actually is that makes you want to escape this situation with the other individual or group? 
  • Make a list of the types of relationship things you would rather avoid. What commonalities do you notice? What else do you see? 
  • Create a plan for dealing with an interpersonal situation when it comes up? How will you think? What will you say to yourself? What, if any, prompt might you take advantage of? How will you view the other person? How will you respond to their initial comment? How will you toggle between talking and listening? What really matters in this exchange? In short, create a strategy, an approach, for dealing with whatever comes up. 
  • What part do you play in these situations coming up? What part do you wish to play?  


Bring items to conclusion as they occur. This is the 'touch it once' of human relations. As far as possible don't allow yourself to have unfinished business with other people. Left unresolved, all interactions run the risk of becoming emotionally charged. Check in with the other person for completion. Start the habit of reaching clarity before moving on.

The Coach asks:

  • With whom do you feel you have unfinished "business?" Keep in mind not every situation requires you to turn inside out. Some things might be best left alone. You need to determine that. 
  • Take today's personal interactions, especially those you feel might be more emotionally charged for the individual or yourself. Take responsibility for your actions. Endeavor to reach resolution right there. Check in with the other person for a confirmation that the matter you discussed is no finished, or that there is a satisfactory and agreed to next step.
  • Endeavor to provide and reach clarity on every interaction and communication today. Do some research today on "clarity in work relationships," and terms similar to it. What did you learn? How can you use it? 
  • Take stock of your attitudes toward others on your org chart? What are your feelings toward and about them? How can these attitudes help or hinder relationship? 


Take some time today to think back over the crises you have faced in the past that involved other people. What could have been clearer? What could have been completed and wasn't? What part did you play in it? As you learn from this reflection, what changes will you make moving forward? Implement them today.

The Coach asks:

  • Do an inventory across time of situations that were tough or that you would consider a crisis. For your part as a leader, how clear were you to others as the situation unfolded? What was brought to completion? What wasn't? How did your giving or receiving of clarity affect that outcome? 
  • As you work on this practice to take responsibility for your actions, what adjustments are you going to make? What leads you to this conclusion? 
  • What adjustments to your own behavior do you think you may need to make, but haven't quite got yourself there yet? What's stopping you? Is it something structural? Internal in your own thinking or heart? Something egregious that you can't overlook? What are your options for dealing with this? Is it your place to deal with this? If not, who?
  • Think about very satisfying and successful interactions that you have had recently? What was it from both sides that contributed to this success? How can you get more of that? 


Do you have key people on your team who make excuses for not completing personal business with other members of your staff? Where are the hot spots on your team? How can you influence the situation? Take steps to do so.

The Coach asks:

  • What people on your team continually deflect responsibility away from themselves either by somehow escaping or by blaming someone or some thing? 
  • How can you influence the above situation in a positive way, that would result in a change of behavior in that team member? 
  • How will you broach the subject?  What resources do you have for the other person? How will you avoid that being an ongoing situation, but rather the start of improvement? What if you get push back or it backfires?
  • What are your options for handling outright conflict between team members? Is there a next step for you today? 

Spiritual Reflection for Christian Leaders


As a Christian Executive Leadership Coach I encourage Christian leaders to reflect on God's Word to add to their wisdom.

Rm 14:10,12  You then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. .. So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Ez 10:4  Rise up; this matter is in your hands.

Eph 4:26  In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. 

Lk 6:31  Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Rm 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

"What we seek with all our hearts in this hard hour, is the process where God exposes some part of us not yet united to Christ. Don't run. Don't hide. You've been exposed. The instinctual response is to put a fig leaf over it. That won't help. Stay with the exposure - you need Christ right here." John Eldridge, Resilient.

If you are a leader, executive, or senior level professional looking to work with a Christian Executive Coach, I invite you to connect with me here.

If appropriate, we can meet by phone or Zoom to discuss your situation. 

Record Your Progress

This is your opportunity to track your progress. Start by asking yourself how important this practice is to you? Record the importance as - not at all, somewhat, fairly, highly or extremely. 

Now next to it ask yourself how well you carry out this practice. Record your performance as - very poor, poor, okay, good or very good. 

Importance Performance Check

The things we track, we pay attention to. Across time, come back and record your new results. You will find that as you are intentional about making improvements, you will bump your "score" up higher. 

This is significant. Don't miss the opportunity to acknowledge your success, and use it as a springboard for making even further gain. 



On occasion, this may be one of the hardest practices to work on. It's easier to deflect and try to escape than it is to move toward the situation and seek to solve it.

I encourage you to work at it. Not just one situation, but as a way of living out your day to day leadership and relationships. The benefits outweigh to need to run.

On any given day as a leader, life will deal so many opportunities to take responsibility for your actions. In stepping up, we'll become better leaders and individuals. We'll do so much better at handling relationships, challenges, and communication. 

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