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Personal Responsibility for Successful Co-Creation

When something doesn't quite go to plan, you have two options. The first is that you can blame yourself. You acknowledge that your failings led to this issue, and you move to rectify the situation. Of course, this option is the most desirable one because it means that you take action and change the situation. Your second option is to blame others or, indeed, the situation itself for the problem. This option is the easy way out, but that doesn't make it the right one. It means that you get to walk away from the issue; washing your hands of it. The technical term for taking the first course of action is going 'above the line', while the second is going 'below the line.'

Below the line

So, what causes people to go below the line? Well, if you're having a bad day or you're sleep-deprived, you might find that this option is the easiest. You can make excuses and blame others for the issue at hand. So long as you justify the situation to yourself and your superiors, you don't have to tackle it.

While, sometimes, you might take this course of action, it can quickly become detrimental to you and your career. The fact that you're blaming others means that you will not take direct action to solve the problem. Thus, nothing will change in the future. That is to say that you will come across this issue time and time again. Before you make any positive changes to the situation, you have to change yourself. For many, this step is the hardest of all. Acknowledging that you need to alter the way in which you approach things is difficult.

The problem is that the 'below the line' action focuses on the past tense. You're constantly blaming someone else. "He made a mistake" or "She forgot to do something". These phrases are how you justify the situation. When you are low on energy, this option is the one you will choose. If you live 'below the line', though, it means that you will never take responsibility for your actions.

Above the line

So, what's your other option? Well, you can always take responsibility. This action means that you will focus on the future of the situation. You will also put an emphasis on what you can do to make a positive change. How can you impact this scenario? How can you prevent further mistakes?

It is not easy to take on a level of personal culpability, but when you have the energy to do so, you should. In doing so, you take on an active role in the situation. That is to say that you can change the way in which things happen. You can improve on your past efforts. Of course, as we know, this concept is the best way to progress in your career.

In conclusion, you should live 'above the line' as much as possible. It is not as easy as it sounds. Taking the blame is often quite an emotional task. If you feel that you are in the right, you might seek to prove that others are wrong. Question your motives. Why do you always need to be right? Isn't it better to be progressive than justified? Whenever you're in a situation like this one, you have to think and act simultaneously. Try to solve the problem, rather than just blaming someone else.


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