One of my very favorite cartoons from a decade ago is the following:

Gary Larson shows a man caught in quicksand when a collie comes upon him.  The man implores “Lassie” to go get help, so the dog runs past trees, jumps over a log, takes an airplane ride and then comes to a screeching halt when she realizes “My name’s not Lassie.”

How many times have we acted like the collie in this cartoon and taken on heroic efforts to accomplish a task that wasn’t ours to do?  Or started to worry about a problem that wasn’t ours to worry about or solve?  

I don’t think that I have ever uttered the words “that’s not part of my job description”, but I do believe that there are appropriate limits and boundaries to the responsibilities and woes that we take on.  Sometimes it is ok to say no to adding something to your plate that belongs with someone else. Your name isn’t Lassie either. 

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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