The Truth About Responsible People


People with the theme of Responsibility experience a deep inner connection to the work they do and the commitments they make.  For them, a job well done is a sacred part of their identity.  This mindset extends to their relationships as well as their personal pursuits.  They naturally and automatically take psychological ownership of everything that they do, which is to say that they make their work in the world personal.  For example, if a commitment isn’t met it becomes a reflection of who they are as a whole person.  Delivering ‘wowing’ results is what they aim for, it is actually a major way that they feel their connection to life, to others, and to their sense of self.

Why Should We Care

We can rely on them.  When the rest of the world flakes out, we can turn to the people in our lives with this theme and depend on them to hit the mark.  They are individuals with tremendous integrity, and their work ethic centers around consistent and first-rate results.  They teach us about commitment, follow through, and, in many ways, the value of holding one’s self to a standard of excellence.  They will go above and beyond to deliver the results that they promised.  These people get things done no matter what.

Ten Things to Know About People with RESPONSIBILITY

1.  Reminders.  If they say they will do something, they’ll do it.  They do not need to be reminded.  Checking-in can actually be viewed as an insult.

2.  Large or Small.  The size of the task is irrelevant.  They bring the same high standard to all that they commit to.

3.  Big Deals.  What may not seem like a big deal to the rest of us very well might be a big deal to those with high responsibility.  So, words of affirmation and understanding go much further than minimizing what they are feeling.

4.  Letting Go.  If they feel that they have messed up or failed, they will be extremely self critical.  It may be difficult for them to let go and focus on the next thing if the previous one feels unresolved.

5.  Quality.  It’s not enough for them to simply ‘finish’ a project—they need to know that they did their absolute best in order to feel done with something.  Otherwise, it lingers in their mind.

6.  Reputation. Being in good standing with others and organizations is absolutely critical to them.

7.  Validation.  Because these folks can be so hard on themselves, they may not always be able to count their wins or even see them.  A sincere compliment validating their work and work ethic can go a long way.

8.  Intensity.  Their personal ownership over projects can make them seem overly intense.  This, however, is like a “flow state” for them, and they are in the zone.

9.  The Word No.  For some folks with strong responsibility, the word “no” is not naturally in their vocabulary and this causes overload.  Their work is to learn how to set this boundary with themselves and others.

10.  Love.  Because their sense of self can be so tightly bound to their results, they can experience bouts of feeling ‘worthless’, especially if they’re totally burnt out.  So, giving them a little extra love and/or personal presence can be really meaningful.

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Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

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