Sunday, December 6, 2009

Admiral Hyman Rickover on Responsibility

"Responsibility is a unique concept. It can only reside and inhere in a single individual. You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you. You may disclaim it, but you cannot divest yourself of it. Even if you do not recognize it or admit its presence, you cannot escape it. If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion or ignorance or passing the blame can pass the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible."


Jack Fact said...

EMy co-workers and I live by the mantra, "Guilt shared is guilt diminished". Granted, this is a complete distortion of the Hyman Rickover quote, but keeps us moving forward and taking risks without fear of individual retribution when we fail.

Jason said...

In the "Nuclear World" portion of the US Navy, this is our bread and butter. I could not say what ADM stated any better. We also call it the "belly button" principle. There is one belly button that you can point at that should have made something happen, or prevent it from happening. Does the person attached to that belly button understand his role and responsibility?