Fred Goodwin; a lesson in Responsibility or lack of it for us all?

We all know the latest today I am sure. The stripping of the honour presented to banking ex-head, Fred Goodwin.
I have heard such statements as “catalogues of failures”, “as CEO, he was and is responsible”, “direct cost to taxpayers and business”. Questions about integrity, responsibility and due process. Personal activities, such as tantrums if the biscuits weren’t pink, his jet and huge pension and clear disregard for his Board members do not suggest a responsible approach to his business. He may be a scapegoat but he IS clearly responsibile to a large degree for making lots of money for himself, misery for many investors and a huge influence in the financial crisis.

I have attached below the section on responsibility from An A-Z of Ethiconomics.

Responsibility and Referral (self)
• the ability or authority to act or decide on one’s own, without supervision

We are completely responsible for everything that we do. I accept that you may view this as a little contentious but I believe it to be true. We cannot always control the thoughts that we have. We cannot always manage our emotions effectively and how we feel has a strong correlation to how we think but, and it is a big but, we can and do control how we act; how we behave. You have both the ability and the authority to decide how you act (behave). It is in this context that I mean “self referral”. An example of this tendency towards denial of self responsibility is the growth in the litigious society; someone else is always to blame; it is always someone else’s fault. We are increasingly handing over responsibility for our actions (and lack of them) to others, be that other individuals, the state, corporate enterprise or some abstract sense of “religious” instruction and worse, blaming them for the outcome. Personal responsibility, it would seem, is a responsibility too far. Not so, say I.

“Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity.”
M. Scott Peck

We are the result of the sum of all the decisions and actions that we have taken to this point in our life. It is nobody else’s fault. Nobody else should be blamed. Stop absolving yourself from being responsible for your own condition and take control of it. Once you accept a mind set of personal responsibility then you are in a position to change your life completely; keep looking outside for reasons and excuses and you can stay where you are forever.

Many great men and women, leaders and great minds, have recognized this for generations. It is our generation that is drifting into a dangerous pattern of external blame and lack of self referral. It is a dangerous path we tread. I am not suggesting that I am in some way perfect here, merely that I have recognized that responsibility for myself is critical to my own personal development.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Once again, personal responsibility for our behaviour is solely and absolutely, ours.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
Jim Rohn

We set the standards for others to follow and by adopting a position of self responsibility and self referral we can develop our passion to live our lives to the full; to accomplish our dreams.

“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.”
Albert Schweitzer

So what better time than now? It is a relatively simple task and requires nothing but a change of mind. The past is the past and we can learn from it but not be controlled by it. The future for us all is for our own creation so I simply urge that you be responsible for your own.

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”
George Bernard Shaw

Will we learn from this?
Will we, as individuals blame bankers when we ouselves spend beyond our own means?
Will we let business leaders be hung out to dry?
Will we be personally responsible and take this integrity into our business?

One thought on “Fred Goodwin; a lesson in Responsibility or lack of it for us all?

  1. I completely agree with you Phil. We must take responsibility for our actions and accept the consequences. Though I say this to add to your post, ultimately there is good in everyone, its our essential nature. Our environments have a major influence on our behaviour as do the people around us but this is not to pass the blame on. Fred appears to have been locked in his ego self and I believe that this knock off his pedestal has happened for a reason, we reap what we sow . It is my hope that through his downfall in such a public outpouring which he must now live with that he gets back in touch with his better side, a humbler side and a more giving, service oriented side.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s