It’s not my job.

It’s not my job.
I don’t do that.
That’s their responsibility.
We don’t get involved in that.
We tried it once and it didn’t work
We’ve always done it this way.
It’s not in my job description.
Yes, but…..

It’s not my job.

Have you seen this culture? One where everything is someone else’s problem, responsibility, accountability, fault. One where people say no before they have understood the question. People who don’t want to help, to change, to do anything different, to try something new? They put a wall up, close their minds, hide away, withdraw.

What causes this attitude? Take your pick:

  • Fear
  • Disengagement
  • Management
  • Inertia

Or it’s just easier to take this stance.

This kind of thing isn’t usually about any single individual, it’s cultural. It’s embedded within organisations; endemic and pervasive. But it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to play the game. It only takes on person to do something different, to stand up, to challenge the status quo. Culture change start with little things, but little things can change everything.
So if you work in a culture where people say it’ not their job, bury themselves in the past, say no to everything, then you have a choice. Join in and become the same as everyone else, or be the one who is different.

Stand up and be counted. Poke your nose in and put your hand up. Operate outside your traditional boundaries. Get involved. Take the lead. As the saying goes, “be the change you want to see.” And the rest of the organisation might just follow you.

Posted in

Gemma Reucroft

Gemma is a UK based senior HR professional, with a particular interest in leadership development, employee relations and recruitment. Gemma is a Chartered member of the CIPD, is a qualified coach and holds a Masters degree in employment law and employee relations. Now a HR Director in the healthcare sector, Gemma is a HR blogger and tweeter, and you can find her on twitter as @HR_Gem.

Reader Interactions


  1. Kathleen Mangiafico says

    Can I come work with you? I hear ya’ sista….your article is the solution to all of our problems. Does anybody give a s**t? …Does anybody care? …About the bigger picture beyond themselves? The problem is pervasive for sho! …and this lack of leadership started in the home a few generations ago and has slowly rippled into the workforce. AND…the older folks have become afraid of getting in trouble now because to “disagree with passion” becomes an HR issue… and who wants to get fired? …We’ve all learned to be polite…sigh. EGO is the problem. Thanks for the inspiration….(I needed it!) I’ll keep fighting the good fight and stand up to be counted. Please keep writing…it helps to know you’re not alone in this fight…. 🙂

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