Saturday, July 21, 2012

Margaret Thatcher & personal responsibility

After much thought, the first leader who motivated and inspired me was Margaret Thatcher.  The most significant words from Mrs. Thatcher are actually the ones which are most often wrongly quoted by her opponents even today.

It was when she said 'there is no such thing as society'. To put that into context, she was responding to a journalist interviewing her about crime and violence. The interviewer said 'isn't our society to blame for all this crime and violence' to which she responded 'No, there is no such thing as society, just individual people who are responsible for their own actions' or words to that effect.

I absolutely believe in taking full responsibility for my own actions and have carried this through into my own business and other organisation which I have been involved in.  This has lead to a genuine 'no blame culture'.

Everybody makes mistakes and obviously most of the time they really didn't mean to.  In my business if something goes wrong my attitude is that it is the systems's fault and therefore my responsibility. I set up the system and therefore something is missing from that system which could have prevented the mistake. So, together we fix the system and the individual who made the mistake knows that they are not to blame.

Even if somebody makes the same mistake again I don't blame them. What good would that do.  You can't change the past, you can only change the future. Together with the person who has made the mistake twice we come up with a fail safe and change the system again. The system is at fault, not the person.

Mark Orr

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