Step 1 to Success- Taking Personal Responsibility

Pillar #1=Personal Responsibility for your benefit and the benefit of your organization.


Personal responsibility is part of the foundation required to create a more successful life.   This is the responsibility of taking care of ourselves for our sake and for the sake of others.  Humans have the unique ability to pause after we are presented with a stimulus.  It is in this split-second moment that we are able to make a decision as to how we will respond.    For example, if someone yells at us, will we yell back?  Will we show them compassion?  Will we respond with a question as to why they are yelling at us?    Many great leaders have mastered the ability to become aware of their response in that moment.  Gandhi, Mother Theresa, President Mandela are some who responded with the utmost integrity in the face of great challenges.   They took personal responsibility for their own self-care and for their decisions of how they would treat others.

I provide a training and personal growth program title “7 Pillars of Sustainable Leadership”.  It is the brain-child of a good friend and colleague of mine, Jennifer Moore of ISIS Consulting and The Moore Group.   It is an interactive program that helps people transform how they lead and influence their work with their colleagues, clients and their organizations by looking at their own paradigm.

The 1st Pillar of the program is Personal Responsibility.  As per Wiki-Answers, “Personal responsibility is one’s ability to take care of oneself by means of, keeping healthy, managing ones emotions, keeping a sound mind, treating yourself with respect, and etc….”    “It is taking responsibility for your actions, accepting the consequences that come from those actions…”.  As per this definition, it starts with you!  How do you think about yourself?  How do you feel about yourself when you look in a mirror?  How do you treat yourself?  Have you defined your personal values?  If so, do you live by your personal values?

Just like our organizations, we should all create Mission and Vision Statements for ourselves.  Once we are able to decide our personal visions, or who & where we want to be ‘when we grow up’, then we know the destination.  We can then formulate the steps we can take to get to our vision.  These steps are our mission.  Living in our mission is exciting.  It provides us with a purposeful life.  And it starts with taking personal responsibility.



Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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