I was reminded today in a post by Denis Hitchens of an old fable that still today has a disturbing ring of truth in it in some organisations.
Once Upon A Time,
in a very common enterprise, there were four people named Everyone, Someone, Anyone, and No-one who all had an important job to do.
- Everyone was sure that Someone would do it.
- Anyone could have done it but No-one did it.
- Someone got angry because it was Everyone’s job.
- Everyone thought Anyone could do it and that Someone would do it.
- But No-one realised that Everyone wasn’t going to do it.
In the end Everyone blamed Someone when No-one did what Anyone could have done.
If something is important, either do it yourself, or if it’s possible for you, delegate it to someone else but never assume someone will do it without confirming. If you can’t delegate and you are unable to do it, ensure it’s brought up at a team meeting to make sure it’s dealt with by the most appropriate person.
“It’s not my job” or “it’s not in my job description” doesn’t cut it.
I’ve seen people spend so much energy and time in skirting responsibility for a task that they could have had it done and dusted in a quarter of the time.
If it’s important, get it done and take the credit where it’s due.