Matthew Brandt, Accountability Cop, Leadership, Keynote Speaker, Resiliency, Trainer

It’s Not My Job!Matthew Brandt, Leadership, Accountability Cop, Training, Keynote, Author, Lead, Speaker

By Matthew G. Brandt

Have you heard someone say that “it’s not my job” to do whatever? Of course you have, even if not in those exact words, by actions or words, people get very defensive when failure on anyone’s part appears to be pointed at someone. The easy come back….”it’s not my job!”

So whose job is it? When you work for an organization, any organization, you are that organization. Everything you do, don’t do, represents the owner, CEO, employees, brand name, profession….all of it. From the front desk receptionist that greets people coming into the office for the first time, to the custodial staff that cleans up at night, all the way up to the CEO, Director, owner of the business. Whose job is it? Well the answer is all ours.


This is where “Authority” comes into play as part of the three tenants of “AAA” Authority=Action=Accountability. If you belong to an organization then you have automatically, by your mere appointment as an employee, been granted a level of authority to speak for and about that company or business. Even though the front desk receptionist may not be able to make upper level decisions on where to spend the marketing resources, he/she can make it clear to those that come in the values and culture of the organization to everyone that walks in the front door, and thus, making it his/her job to “market” the brand. That’s using the authority you are given to promote the brand; your organization.

The same goes for any position in any level of the organization. When we take ownership of a problem, whether it’s our problem or not, we do so based on the authority given to employees to act on behalf of the organization to promote it, advance it, live by a culture of transparent and “get it done” attitudes that resonate far and wide.

Customer Service

A recent story I heard out of Ritz-Carlton hotels….arguably one of the premier world-class hotel chains in business today. You think of Ritz-Carlton, you think high end value for high end price….but always, high end value. They know how to do it right.

A young couple is on their dream honeymoon at a Ritz hotel that is far outside of their spending comfort zone; but are on their honeymoon and of course have splurged to have the Ritz taste of life for this celebration. The new groom, sporting his $250 sunglasses decides to show off to his bride and goes surfing. Of course, he quickly loses his very expensive sunglasses to the sea and chalks it up to “not such a good idea.”

Back at the poolside bar after surfing, he is talking about his mishaps with his sunglasses to his bride. He is over heard by the young man tending bar that jumps into action, unknowingly to the guest. The bartender, on his personal break, dawns a set of swim fins, a mask and heads out to the surf…..a little while later he returns with a cleaned up, ready to wear pair of very expensive sun glasses. He catches up with the young couple later in the evening as they head to dinner.

“Sir, I believe you lost these earlier today” he said… with total amazement, the young man says “yes, I did…..thank you so much!” “But how did you….why did you…. this is amazing!” “I saw you had a problem, and the way we work at the Ritz-Carlton is that if we can find a way to make a patron’s stay better, we do that….enjoy your stay at the Ritz.”

Will Never Forget

Do you think that young couple will forever remember this story of how they were treated at the Ritz, even when it wasn’t his job to find those sunglasses? You bet they will and as that young man grows older, owns his own company, is the CEO or senior executive in an organization….where do you think he will most likely take his business around the world?

You see, Ritz-Carlton’s take on customer service and that every employee has the authority (even some ability to obligate an amount of funds) towards providing the most memorable, most rewarding experience to any patron they can, is part of their value system and you will never hear anyone working for Ritz-Carlton say; “it’s not my job”… If they know of problem, it IS their job to handle it until it IS fixed.

So own your organization’s problems, all of them! Take on any issue or mistake, problem, inconvenience and make it right. You DO have the authority, you are an employee…..act like one. Leaders, make this a priority in building your culture with your teams, the difference it makes may be the difference between being in business and being out of business.

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By Matthew