Leadership and Self-Reliance

Learning new skills is exciting, especially when you make progress. At some point, we learn enough to become a leader, whether at home, at work, or simply by example. So how do we teach others to take responsibility for their actions, develop good habits, and become spiritually and temporally self-reliant?

The first step is to diagnose the problem.

People who seem to be unwilling to take responsibility for their actions, take on new challenges, and adopt better behaviors can be frustrating to work with. Some are lazy. These employees may need to find the right motivation. Successful leaders learn about employees’ values and find out what motivates them. They help employees make the connection between working and taking care of their family or achieving their goals. For others, it may not be so simple. They may be ducking responsibility because they fear failure. Still others may feel overwhelmed by the scale of a problem or situation.

Here are several characteristics of people who sometimes avoid responsibility and may have difficulty becoming self-reliant:

As a leader, you will want to address the root of the problem, since it’s probably not going to go away. You have to triage the problem. To do this, create a safe relationship of trust with the person by acknowledging his or her efforts and potential. Have a one-on-one meeting and talk openly about the problem.

Most people accept this kind of help and are appreciative and happier when they are growing. But you should accept that people make their own decisions and that you are only responsible for providing an opportunity to grow and change. Unfortunately, there are people who will decide not to change, no matter how many chances you give them. With employees like these, you may want to reassign them to a position where they will be happier or help them find a job that better suits them. If it’s your own child you are trying to teach, be patient, consistent, and loving.