Thursday Thoughts: Are You Overly-Responsible?

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Whether you’re a new attorney or a veteran, being overly-responsible could be harming your legal career. People who are overly-responsible take responsibility for things that are not their responsibility or that they have no control over.  Are you overly-responsible? Here are the signs to help you determine if you’re over-responsible.

  1. You believe things will fall apart without you.  Do you ever feel that if you take a day off from work nothing will get done or that it won’t get done right?  If so, you might be an overly-responsible person. While it’s important to feel needed at your law firm, you are not responsible for keeping the place running unless you’re the owner.
  2. You feel panic when others don’t finish tasks. Working at a law firm requires you to work as part of a team. In a team environment you’re depending on everyone to do their job so that the “machine” works smoothly. However, it’s inevitable that some people will fail to take responsibility for their “stuff” and they will miss things and fail to deliver. This doesn’t mean that it’s now up to you to fill in the empty space. If you feel that you always need to pick up the slack for everyone else, you’re being overly-responsible.
  3. You feel guilty when things go wrong. Unless you made a mistake or dropped the ball, feeling guilty because other people made mistakes is a sign that you’re overly-responsible.  You don’t have control over what anyone on your team does. You are only responsible for doing your part.

If you find yourself being overly-responsible, take a step back and allow other people to take responsibility for their part in making the team successful. Teamwork makes the dream work! Subscribe to the Leopard Blog for discussions on attorney wellness, diversity, law firm insights, and other relevant topics.

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