I read an email written by the CEO of Apple that was released as part of a shareholder lawsuit. The email was an exceptional example of business communications, you can see it here on TechEmails. My favorite part of the email was the second paragraph, a single sentence of four words:
I take full responsibility.
I keep thinking about the implications of that one-sentence paragraph. What if I took full responsibility for everything in my life? The work implications given my role are clear: I have full responsibility for the company as the CEO. The personal implications are less clear and more profound. What if I took full responsibility for every action I took, and decision I made? Any resulting outcomes are my responsibility.
I take full responsibility, for:
- Myself, my actions and my decisions
- The actions and decisions of my dependents
- The actions and decisions of the company
I will write more about the effects this has on my life. It already feels better to take responsibility in this way. I think this is what Jocko calls extreme ownership, and I now understand why he advocates for it.