IS responsibility indispensable to success or power?
Unfortunately, many successful and powerful people in their ivory towers tend to do away with responsibility, thus ushering their fall.
Winston Churchill said: “The price of greatness is responsibility.” In the same vein, Michael Korda, editor-in-chief of Simon and Schuster, suggested, “Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility. In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have in common is the ability to take on responsibility.”
Voltaire, a towering figure of the French Enlightenment, put is most succinctly: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Whilst, on the other hand, Lord Acton boldly exclaimed, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Verily, thus, responsibility is an essential element in both the attainment and management of power and success – and this has been long recognized by great men and women.
Taking responsibility for your choice, decision and action will keep you on track of your end-goal and, at the same time, from falling into the trap of finger-pointing or blaming others.
Lou Ludwig, author and inspirational speaker, said it beautifully: “The price of success comes with responsibility; (persons who want) to succeed takes 100 percent responsibility for their actions. Staying on track may not be easy; but they stay focused on their desired outcome. When things go wrong they don’t blame others, they take the responsibility to find the solutions and get things back on track. If you want to create a life of success and greatness, you have to take responsibility of the results.”
After attaining success or power, responsibility becomes even more imperative. The higher you go in the ladder of success or in the totem pole of power, the greater demand on you to live up to your responsibilities.
The more successful you are in life, the greater your power and influence, but also the more complex and multilayered your responsibility becomes.
However, truth be told, for others who are most successful, they would rather cling to power even if it means turning their back on responsibility.
What could be behind their behavior?
The most obvious explanation is greed or “wanting more and more for oneself”, which impels one to manipulate and take advantage of others.
Thus, instead of opting for the high ground – that is, exercising responsibility – powerful and successful people tend to go low.
It is worth reckoning: What’s the point in being wealthy or powerful, wanting more and more for yourself, when people around you are wallowing in poverty because of your unbridled greed or, at the least, apathy?
People will remember not your wealth, but your actions.
To paraphrase Steve Mueller, a management specialist: “It is not the immense wealth, assets or tangibles that people will remember about the departed. It is their actions, especially if such have made a difference in other people’s lives. Not the amount of money and luxury goods they amassed in their lifetime. People will not remember your wealth, but the way you invested this money, either for yourself and your family, or in making this world a better place to stay.”
Peace ye, dear friend! At life’s end, what counts most is not how much we have acquired or achieved, but how much we have loved and how happy we have lived a meaningful life, especially with those who mattered most to us.