Red Blinking Light

What does a red blinking light have to do with taking personal responsibility?


I took this training once.  The concept being taught was about relationships and responsibility in general.

100% is possible 100% of the time.  If it’s to be it’s up to me.


It sounds so simple, like it doesn’t need any explanation.  It also sounds cliche yet it’s still in my head years later.


It means not expecting or waiting on 50/50.  It means giving 100% of your effort.  We know our relationships take effort to be successful.  Sometimes, it just means doing the work that needs doing.


At the time I took that training I was a general manager.  I went to work the next day thinking about 100% responsibility.  I even tried to teach it to the rest of the staff in a meeting.  I asked… “What does 100% responsibility look like to you?”


One of my staff said, “When you walk by the copier, and you see that it is out of paper, and the red light is blinking, but instead of ignoring it – you actually STOP and put the next ream of paper in the tray.”


How simple is that?  You stop walking on by when you see something needs doing. 100% responsible for everything in your immediate world that needs doing.  Cause what if it’s only you? And there is no one else to attend to that red blinking light?


That became the office joke for weeks and the copier had never been so full…


We find it so easy in our relationships at home and work, or with our closest friends – to place the blame.  They don’t do enough. Or they don’t do as much as I do.  Or they don’t call as much as I call.  I admit I’m guilty of this!

“Really?! Who didn’t change the toilet paper roll this time?”


The alternative, just doing your share (plus calculating your share, then complaining about it) is actually pretty exhausting.

Instead,  100% is possible 100% of the time.  If it’s to be it’s up to me.

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