One of my favorite books is The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, which is based on the premise that decisions shape your destiny. One story Hardy shared was a real eye-opener, and it applies to relationships, both personal and professional. Hardy relates how, when he was young, a seminar about personal accountability in relationships transformed his life.
The speaker had asked the audience, “What percentage of shared responsibility do you have in making a relationship work?” Hardy was confident he knew the answer. He shouted, “Fifty/ fifty!” “It was so obvious; both people must be willing to share the responsibility evenly or someone’s getting ripped off,” Hardy explains in his book. “‘Fifty-one/ forty-nine,’ yelled someone else, arguing that you’d have to be willing to do more than the other person. Aren’t relationships built on self-sacrifice and generosity? ‘Eighty/ twenty,’ yelled another.”
“The instructor turned to the easel and wrote 100/0 on the paper in big black letters. ‘You have to be willing to give 100 percent with zero expectation of receiving anything in return,’ he said. ‘Only when you’re willing to take 100 percent responsibility for making the relationship work will it work. Otherwise, a relationship left to chance will always be vulnerable to disaster,’” Hardy continues.
“I quickly understood how this concept could transform every area of my life,” writes Hardy. “If I always took 100 percent responsibility for everything I experienced—completely owning all of my choices and all the ways I responded to whatever happened to me—I held the power. Everything was up to me. I was responsible for everything I did, didn’t do, or how I responded to what was done to me. You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you.”
Hardy’s conclusion still resonates: “This empowering mindset revolutionized my life. Luck, circumstances, or the right situation wasn’t what mattered. If it was to be, it was up to me. I was free to fly. No matter who was elected president, how badly the economy tanked, or what anybody said, did, or didn’t do, I was still 100 percent in control of me. Through choosing to be officially liberated from past, present, and future victimhood, I’d hit the jackpot. I had the unlimited power to control my destiny.”
One of my favorite philosophies is “everything is our problem.” Regardless of whose fault it is (the customer or ours), when something goes wrong, it is ultimately our problem. We have to own it. We have to figure out how to build such an incredible intuitive experience that eliminates the majority of potential issues or addresses them immediately regardless of whose fault it may be.
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