Being 100% Responsible for Everything in Your Business Will Create an Extraordinary Transformation

Being 100% Responsible for Everything in Your Business Will Create an Extraordinary Transformation

You may have read this heading and thought, “but isn’t it obvious that every business owner takes 100% responsibility for everything that happens in his or her business?” The answer is no.

Many business owners know they are responsible for getting work, employing and paying their employees and subcontractors, and paying BAS and tax. In other words; all the fundamental responsibilities. But what about the things that happen that seem to be beyond our control, that negatively affect our business, like a recession, or an impossible client? My answer is, everything that happens within and to our business is totally our responsibility.

What is business responsibility exactly?

Responsibility is taking ownership of all the documents, policies, results and actions that happen in our business (both good and bad). Not blaming anyone else, or external events like the weather, an economy, or an employee for a negative outcome. We take responsibility and then we choose how our choices influence the results in our business, learning from those results and taking the initiative to improve, through better choices, procedures or communication.


“My client was impossible to work with and he cost me nearly all my years profit.”
A business owner and I were talking about this topic last year. Here is part of the conversation.

Business Owner: “It was a tough year last year. I completed a big construction job, but the client was impossible to work with and he cost me nearly all my years profit. It wasn’t really my fault; the client was impossible.

Me: “I hear you mate, that would have been very frustrating and demoralising. But it was your decision to do this job, right?”

Business Owner:

We then discussed the project in detail, so I could understand what happened. To which I said:

Me: “The project failed because of a number of factors that you didn’t execute properly. You were aware of the client being difficult from the first meeting, and you decided to quote the job and install it. You also under-quoted the job, the project wasn’t managed to a specific budget/plan, and zero job tracking were the major factors that led to the job losing money, agree?”

Business Owner: “True, I could have done those things better, but the client was difficult.”

Me: “I am sure he was, but you said you were aware of early warnings that the client would be difficult, but you went ahead anyway.”

Business Owner: “Yes I was, but the project was really appealing.”

Me: “I get that. But sometimes when assessing a job, it is important to make sure everything is aligned – client, you, outcome, your systems, your teams’ capabilities and your gut feeling. I am saying all this only to help you realise that if you take full responsibility for this job losing money, you will be motivated to make changes to all these elements; like qualifying a client, your documentation, payment plan, terms and conditions, your procedures and systems, so they serve you well going forward. The result will be a much stronger business with you being in control.”

Taking full responsibility will mean, we can immediately influence change in any area of our business where we are not currently happy with the result. By breaking down a negative or positive result, we can replicate what our business did well or determine what needs improving so the negative result will not be reproduced. And that is a powerful way for all of us to run our business!


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