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An Introduction to the Responsibility® CliftonStrengths Theme

Looking to learn more about Responsibility? Whether you want to know more about how to use your Responsibility theme to succeed, or how to help someone harness theirs, you've come to the right place.

You'll find definitions and descriptions made popular in the international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0, plus ideas for how to better understand and use this CliftonStrengths theme.

What Is the Definition of Responsibility?

Responsibility and the rest of the CliftonStrengths themes are comprised of natural talents that Gallup has identified through decades of research.

People exceptionally talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

People complete the CliftonStrengths assessment to learn which of the 34 themes, like Responsibility, are strongest in them.

The following theme description highlights the thoughts, feelings and behaviors you are likely to experience if you have strong Responsibility:

Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it.

If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution.

This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done.

When people come to you for help -- and they soon will -- you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.

Responsibility is a theme in the Executing domain of CliftonStrengths.

People with dominant Executing themes like Responsibility make things happen.

Each of the 34 CliftonStrengths sort to one of four domains -- Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. These domains help you understand how to use individual CliftonStrengths to succeed when you join, create or lead a team.

Learn more about the CliftonStrengths domains

How to Better Understand Your Responsibility Theme

Making the most of your Responsibility talents starts with gaining valuable insights into what you naturally do best.

How people with strong Responsibility talents describe themselves:

  • "I am someone others trust to get things done."
  • "I need freedom to take ownership."
  • "I love the respect of others."
  • "I hate disappointing others and being disappointed by others."
  • "I bring dependability and loyalty."

How to Apply Your Responsibility to Succeed

The most successful people invest in their strongest talents. The only way to develop your Responsibility talents is to use them every day -- at work, at home and everywhere else. The following are a few ideas for how to apply your Responsibility to achieve your goals:

Work With Responsibility: You naturally take ownership of every project you are involved in. Make sure that your capacity to own does not keep you from sharing responsibility. Allow others the opportunity to experience the challenges of ownership. In doing so, you will contribute to their growth and development.

Lead With Responsibility: Keep volunteering for more responsibility than your experience seems to warrant. You thrive on responsibility, and you can deal with it very effectively.

Live With Responsibility: Responsible individuals like to know they have "delivered" on their commitments, so create metrics and goals to gauge how effectively you meet your obligations. Also, make sure you have explicit and concrete expectations so that there is no question regarding quality outcomes and so that you can hit the mark as promised.

Check out our in-depth videos from Gallup experts for more ways to use Responsibility to make the most of your potential.


If You're a Manager With Responsibility

Your Responsibility talent makes you stronger. Lead with your strengths so both you and your team can succeed. A strengths-based approach to management will lead to:

  • better conversations
  • stronger partnerships
  • higher team engagement
  • greater collaboration

For manager-specific insights and strategies, check out your CliftonStrengths for Managers report and explore your top 10 themes and how you can use them to reach your goals.

Managing Team Members With Strong Responsibility Talents

Discovering the collective talents of your team using the CliftonStrengths assessment is just the first step.

To successfully manage or lead others, you must individualize your approach. You must understand what makes each of your team members unique. And you must lead meaningful conversations about performance that focus on what each person naturally does best.

An Example of Managing Team Members With Responsibility

People with high Responsibility talents define themselves by their ability to live up to their commitments. It will frustrate them to work around people who don't hold similar views. Avoid teaming them up with lackadaisical coworkers.

Use the CliftonStrengths Assessment to Discover More About Responsibility

CliftonStrengths DNA Strand image

How Strong Are Your Responsibility Talents?

Purchase CliftonStrengths 34 to reveal your complete unique talent profile and learn just how strong your Responsibility talents are. You'll get personalized insights into your CliftonStrengths results and ideas for maximizing your potential.

Group of people at work discussing their strengths

How to Work With Others With Strong Responsibility Talents

Gallup offers resources and products you can use to help others succeed by developing their Responsibility theme and all their CliftonStrengths.