Responsibility means that "the buck ends here", as one of America's Presidents said. Leadership means responsibiity in all its various contexts. Leadership is not good, unless it allows for "choice".
The first and foremost important relationship is that of the family. The Family forms the child's values, his understanding of himself in the world, his self-concept, which ultimately help to form his goals. Good parenting exposes the child, bears with the child and studies the child. Good parenting is "knowing the child" well, so that the child can be guided, but not guarded; nudged, but not prodded. The parent teaches the child about choice, responsibility and helps the child to grow by giving them age appropriate responsibilities that will build a sense of confidence and assurance about their abilities. Good parenting ultimately knows that the child will grow away from a dependence on their leadership and be able to make responsible choices on their own.
Leadership at school is also important in preparing the child for responsibility. Teachers, guidance counselors, and principals all influence the child and young adult's development toward making good choices and becoming a responsible citizen, ready to give back to society.
The university or on the job training is also important in leading the young adult into functioning in society productively. Professors, supervisors, and older workers help the adult to know if their choice of major or job is the "right one".
Society, itself, is governed by leaders. And good government is only when leaders understand their position as a public trust. These leaders don't shirk their responsiblity be representative of 'the people". But, such leaders must know how to negotiate, compromise, and look for the greater interest of the nation. Those under such leaders have more choices about their lives, because leadership has acted responsibily.
Responsibility is about taking ownership, seeing need, response to one's environment. Such responsibility is about choices, priorities, and values. Not everyone will consider the same needs, or values. Some will not be able to handle more responsibility than their familial ones. But, everyone in society gains when they take their responsibilities seriously!
All good leadership allows for responsible choice. And responsible choice is about being equipped with informaton, conscious of the needs before them, evaluating one's priorities in a given time, and committing to ultimate values, when one is through the reflecting process.
Every stage of development should be a time of growth, challenge and new responsibilities, as responsibilites are what life is made of and for.
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