People high in Responsibility thrive on being able to deliver well on tasks which they are responsible for.  This means that if they were to find out that they are somehow responsible for something that they never knew was their responsibility, this can be extremely frustrating for them.

Case Study

John was an Account Director whose role has recently been changed.  Tommy, who was then the Operations Director, was promoted to take his place and was to be under the temporary mentorship of John.  Several months later, there was to be an important conference meeting with the client.  2 weeks before the meeting, the process was initiated to gather information and put the presentation slides together.

John’s Boss, Jennifer, was extremely upset over the timeline as she felt that this should have been done earlier.  She wrote an email to John, expressing her displeasure, asking him why he had failed to coach Tommy well, and indicated that she would hold him responsible if this important meeting turned out badly.

John’s level of frustration shot up.  He had previously reminded Tommy of the meeting and wanted to give Tommy the freedom to manage the team as he saw fit.  Jennifer’s email left him wonder what his responsibilities were with regards to his role as a mentor/coach as he certainly didn’t want to override, or take over the role of Tommy.  “If I had known that I was going to be held responsible for this, I would have started the ball rolling much earlier!”

Clear Deliverables

Clear deliverables are extremely important to one who is high in Responsibility.  Here’s a way to gain clarity and manage the roles and responsibilities:

  1. Identify the criteria for each deliverable.
    How will you know when the task has been well executed?  What sub-tasks needs to be completed?  What will it look like?  When must each sub-item be completed?  Once that is done, repeat the criteria back to ensure that there’s common understanding.
  2. Identify who is responsible for each task or sub-task
    Someone high in Responsibility will likely attempt to take on all orphaned tasks.  If there are any tasks that needs to be done, but no one seems to be doing it, it will often take it upon himself to complete it.  Identifying clearly who is responsible for each (sub-)task will avoid a lot of second guessing, and potentially a lot of frustration down the road.  It will also give the person a lot more freedom to focus on what he’s responsible for, and hence be more effective at his work.


Do you work with people with high Responsibility? How do you help them clarify what their responsibilities are?

Or perhaps do you have high Responsibility yourself?  How can you seek clarity in the two areas above so that you can be more energised and engaged in your work?


Get more information about StrengthsFinder by visiting

About Alex Wong

Alex is a Strengths Enthusiast who is both a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, and a Certified Strategic Strengths Coach. His passion is in helping people grow into the best versions of themselves by appreciating and growing their innate talents. In his spare time, Alex is a hobbyist magician and a volunteer at his church Sunday school. Top 5 StrengthsFinder 2.0 Themes: Empathy, Individualisation, Developer, Strategic, Learner