We had helicoptered in to the meadows at the base of Mt. Robson – “the Monarch of the Rockies.” Four of us – me, my climbing partner, and our two guides – had five days to climb a mountain that was as notorious for its bad weather as it was for failed summit attempts. The allure was undeniable.
Hiking onto the glacier my climbing partner asked Nick, one of our guides, if we should “rope up.” There was no snow on the glacier and we could see numerous crevasses. Roping up meant roping together in pairs so that if one person fell into a crevasse his partner would be able to brake the fall.
“Do you see the crevasses?” asked Nick.
“Sure do,” we replied.
“Then don’t step in a f*$&!#% crevasse.”
Hmmm. Don’t step in a f*$&!#% crevasse. Take responsibility.
We live in a time when if anything goes wrong we automatically look for who to blame, who was negligent, who to hold liable. What we don’t do is first look in the mirror and ask if there was anything we could have done to prevent the calamity from occurring. We don’t first take responsibility.
There will be times when things go wrong in your business. What kind of people do you need to deal with those situations? People who take responsibility. Who take ownership. People who when seeing a problem spring into action to fix it. People who when anticipating a problem take steps to prevent it.
People who take responsibility see that something needs to change. They ask themselves what they can do to change it. And they act so they can change it.
Don’t step in a f*$&!#% crevasse. Hire people who take responsibility.
Make it happen.
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