RSS Knowing When to ‘Man Up’

An expression that I use to describe the act of taking responsibility for oneself is to man up. According to the New York Times, there are two distinct uses of the expression. One use is synonymous with toughening up; the other is to do the right and honorable thing, which is how I’m using it. Now, I know what you’re thinking – this isn’t politically correct. And so, since I want to include everyone here, let’s use step up for this blog post.

I could share numerous stories where I personally had to step up to decisions I made or actions that led to unintended consequences. It’s not easy — especially in the workplace where perceptions of value can have major consequences.

That being said, I am a firm believer that an organization is more productive if each member accepts equal responsibility for his or her work. Maybe I could say it better this way: each person should step up equally.

I’d like to share a quick exercise with you: think about the past week at work (or even just a single day). Think about how you spent your time, the activities you engaged in and the results you achieved. Now, think about the various individuals who were affected by your actions.

It is in moments of self-reflection that leaders build character and enhance their overall effectiveness. All too often, we’re busy with our day-to-day activities and don’t make time to think about the consequences of our actions. While we try to pull all the right strings, we may lack the clarity that comes only from honest reflection and stepping up.

Keep in mind that reflection does not necessarily result in doing the right thing. Some leaders will take time to reflect upon their actions, yet fail to step up when the circumstance warrants a proactive response.

As I finish this post, I ask readers: when was the last time you had to step up?

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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