Driving in Southern California will teach you many things. You will learn that distance is a function of time, not miles. You’ll discover that you might need a law degree to understand if you can park your car on the street on that day at that time. You’ll realize you can drive on six different freeways in 45 minutes and have traveled only 10 miles. And you will intimately understand the five stages of grief while sitting in traffic: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
You will also learn that, legally, pedestrians have the right of way in The Golden State – because they will certainly let you know. And this is where things get dodgy. “Pedestrian Entitlement Syndrome” (PES – A CMK original – feel free to share) happens when people mistake the painted crosswalk for an electromagnetic force field that will automatically stop any vehicle from blasting through an intersection. Buried in their smartphones, they step out into the street KNOWING they have the right of way, and the law is on their side.
The laws of man may dictate that the pedestrian has the right of way. The laws of physics, however, suggest otherwise.
“In this corner, weighing in at 196 lbs., a man, made of flesh and bone, traveling at 3 MPH, walking his dog. And his opponent, weighing in at over 4,000 lbs., a vehicle, made of steel, traveling at 30+ MPH, as the driver reads a text message. Let’s get ready to rumbllllllllllllle…”
I think you can see how this fight ends – always – regardless of the “pedestrian has the right of way” argument.
You can get upset at someone for almost running you over, but in life, there is only one person responsible for your safety: You. The same is true with accomplishing professional goals. Your success is on you. Being “right” doesn’t always guarantee you’ll win. (Just ask anyone who has ever been married.) And if someone else is wrong, that doesn’t excuse a failure to achieve your goals.
Responsibility” means “ownership.” By taking FULL RESPONSIBILITY for your businesses, your goals, and your life, you dramatically increase your chance of success. Blaming anyone else for failing to meet your objectives is a waste of time and energy. You may be right when you say that “someone didn’t get back to me in time,” or “the vendor didn’t deliver,” but that is about as much good as saying you had the right of way when you’ve just become someone’s new hood ornament.
Here are four steps to help you achieve your goals when things go sideways:
1. Understand what happened.
Release blame and judgment and understand in detail what went wrong.
2. Accept full responsibility.
Again, “responsibility” is not “fault.” It’s “ownership.” For someone to be at fault, someone else has to be a victim. Ownership is empowerment. When we own something, we empower ourselves to affect it.
3. Create a plan for success.
Once you have a clear understanding of what happened and taken ownership of the situation, you can move forward in a way that is in alignment with achieving your goals.
4. Communicate everything.
Tell everyone what happened, explain that you are taking full responsibility, and describe your plan to move forward. When you communicate to your superiors in this way, you instill trust in you. Blame and other avoidance tactics will impress no one. Communicate to your subordinates as well. When people understand what the goals are and why they are doing things, they will support the efforts.
Where in your business, or life, can you take more responsibility for achieving your goals? How can you release the need to be “right” in service to something more important? Like, share or comment on Facebook! And for inspirational messages (or random goofy stuff) follow me on Twitter and Instagram!
It’s your kingdom. Make it REIGN.
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About the Author -

Executive coach and motivational speaker Chris M. King facilitates the mind shift necessary for professionals and organizations to achieve authentic success and empowerment. Clients experience productivity increases of up to 40%, freedom from burnout and overwhelm, clarity in times of transition, dramatically improved work/life balance, answers to "what's next," creative solutions for innovation, and an overall increase in satisfaction in career and in life. And he does all of this without ever giving advice! Chris doesn't show them THE way. He guides them in finding THEIR way. An emerging thought leader in the men's movement, Chris also works with professional men and women on accountability, vulnerability, and empowerment. He specifically addresses the issues associated with mid-life crises and Peter Pan Syndrome. He is a volunteer for ManKind Project International, a contributing author to The Good Men Project and Elephant Journal, and is honored to be working with Sam Morris as a contributor to Zen Warrior Training®, helping people achieve self-mastery. Chris is also a coach at Project Bully Buster, coaching teens as they navigate the challenges of adolescence. He is honored to work with and support organizations dedicated to the men’s movement, to women's issues, and, as brother to a special needs sister, the US Special Olympics. Chris is currently working on his first book.

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