The Power of Owning Up

Amongst the most commonly used words in organizations today is “Responsibility”. Yet, it is perhaps the most misunderstood, or least understood word. I have interacted with over 2000 managers and leaders in organizations, and almost all of them could not clearly distinguish what responsibility really meant. Many confused it with accountability.

Why is this word ‘responsibility’ even important?

Most individuals and teams are unaware of what this simple word really means. And when people are unaware, they often think they are taking responsibility, and yet operating as jerks, grumbling that others haven’t dedicated themselves to taking care of them. This is a cultural blind spot.  


When you fully understand ‘responsibility’, you realize it is a powerful ‘way of seeing’ that opens up new actions, new doorways and new possibilities. It is the only ‘way to see’ to truly generate results – not just any results – but those that matter to you. Stated simply – understanding the full-blown meaning of responsibility is critical to you taking care of what YOU care about.


The Irrefutable Law of Responsibility is just that – Irrefutable. Like the law of gravity is irrefutable. Being unaware and not understanding the law of responsibility incurs huge costs – to oneself, team and the organization.




“Powerful! Well written and researched, The Power of Owning Up reveals the tools you need to use responsibility to improve your effectiveness, communication, culture, and more!”      


 Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Thinkers50 #1 Executive Coach and New York Times bestselling author of The Earned Life, Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There


“A practical and thoughtful book, the authors present  the big picture, along with relevant details, and connect these two realms.”


Howard Gardner, Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education, 

Harvard Graduate School of Education

“A heroic call to action for responsible leadership. Packed with compelling vignettes, practical exercises and clear, fresh frameworks such as The Responsibility-Accountability Matrix, The Power of Owning Up is an actionable primer on responsible leadership not only for coaches and leadership practitioners, but for all who seek to be their best selves. Dunham and Dua offer lessons from real life dilemmas rooted in principles drawn from ancient philosophy to help us face our fears and “choose to be responsible.”

 Dr. Dina Dommett, Dean of Ashridge, Hult International Business School

“Thank you Bob & Sameer for the fantastic book. This is a must read for all leaders & coaches. Your book is inspirational & has the potential to transform one’s perspective & career.”

Sudarshan Mogasale, CEO, Dassault Systemes Lab, India

The Power of Owning Up is an important clarification and contribution to coaches and leaders in the world of shared action and coordination. But more importantly it reveals the power available to each of us to create a future with others that we care about.

Julio Olalla, Founder of Newfield Network and developer of Ontological Coaching

Responsibility is a firm decision to do your duties of the highest quality and be committed to what you care about and what matters to you. The Power of Owning Up is a tremendously important book that provides great insights and practical tips on the often overlooked or taken-for-granted states of responsibility and accountability. Responsibility is a power beyond job descriptions that allow the greatest results. Excellent book for every leader.

Oleg Konovalov, One of the top global thought leaders, author of The Vision Code, ‘the da Vinci of visionary leadership’

What do you think?

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