It’s raining heavily in the morning. You check the alarm clock only to realize you haven’t gotten up early to work for that all important release that will be happening in the next few hours. Due to the heavy downpour, there’s bumper-to-bumper traffic on the road and your gears are mostly on two. You get to work, only to be summoned to your boss’s cabinet. Your reasons are plenty blaming the rain, the heavy load of work and the list goes on. “Are you being responsible?” is his one single question.

But, how do we really connote responsibility here? Fault, blame, guilt are some words that often go with it. But that isn’t necessarily responsibility. What you’re really doing here is making yourself the victim. Externalizing the problem by passing the buck on to reasons affiliated with the environment, circumstances and people. But how could the situation have been different? Response-ability starts with the willingness to deal with a situation from and with the point of view, whether at the moment realized or not, that you are the source of what you are, what you do and what you have. This point view extends to include even what is done to you and ultimately how it affects the environment around you. Response-ability is the source of empowerment and integrity, the power to influence your situation and the integrity to do so in alignment with what you headed out to do in the first place.

Ultimately it’s a choice that you’d make. I’m not sure if you’d choose to blame traffic and lose out on that all important visa appointment. Here your response-ability is unconditional and you will make it happen, no matter what, right? I call response-ability ‘unconditional’ because your responses are not really determined by external circumstances or instinct. Even when they do depend on external factors and inner drives, you always have a choice to take ownership. As human beings, you have the privilege to be autonomous. And the more conscious you are of your autonomy, the more un-conditioned your responses will be.

At Kuliza, we’re small teams doing different things ultimately aligned to a bigger goal. When our clients come to us with a specific requirement, seldom do we settle with that. We usually dissect the requirement, see what ingredients can be added beyond the boundaries of what is being asked and ultimately create a fabulous product. To achieve this, you need developers who code for functionality beyond the horizons of the initial product, designers who anticipate diverse user interaction and a response with an ability. You are not responsible for your circumstances; you are response-able in the face of your circumstances.

And what do you get with the ability to fully respond and take ownership? You get empowerment and the ability control the situation exactly the way you want it to be. It lets you focus on influencing the situation rather than being influenced by it. By making a choice on how you want to respond to a situation, you create a possibility to respond effectively.

They say with great power comes responsibility. The way I see it, only great response-ability can yield you great power.

Feel free to shout out your thoughts as comments. It’s refreshing to hear different abilities to respond.