Our Duty to Our People, Our Business, and Ourselves
Duty comes from the inside. Duty is a moral obligation. It is neither quantifiable nor time-bounded.
A strong sense of Duty is one of the elements that separates successful business leaders from everyone else. As business leaders, we all have a seemingly endless list of responsibilities. Let's take a couple of minutes to learn the difference between the responsibilities we all execute and the actions we initiate out of a sense of Duty.
Dave Anderon’s book, Becoming a Leader of Character defines Duty as:
Taking action based on my assigned tasks and moral obligations.
For leaders, a responsibility is something you "owe" to your board, investors, lenders, employer, customers, or employees. Responsibilities might include a list of roles or tasks in your job description. Responsibilities are both measurable and quantifiable. Responsibilities come from the outside. Responsibilities are the assigned tasks described in the definition of Duty above. You might think of responsibilities as transactional – you perform this task or set of tasks, and you get that positive rating, bonus, or promotion in return.
Duty comes from the inside. Duty is a moral obligation. It is neither quantifiable nor time-bounded. Duty isn't transactional – duties are often performed without any opportunity for reward or chance of recognition. A clear sense of Duty supersedes any sense of responsibility to others. A sense of Duty pushes you to go beyond the expectations of others because you alone measure your success or failure in displaying a sense of Duty.