A dog with two owners never gets fed.
And how highly functioning teams operate.
My mom has been staying with us for the past couple weeks to help with the kids as we bridge the transition from paternity and maternity leave to work, school, and daycare. (Thanks mom!)
And my mom, being the loving person she is, always wants to know if our dog has been fed. If she wasn't asking me if he's been fed, that usually meant she had already gone ahead and fed him. The mom of moms, in the best way possible.
But a funny thing happens when she's in town...
I stop remembering to feed our dog. Why? Because I know she's taken on partial responsibility for feeding him as well, and you know what happens when multiple people are responsible for something? No one is responsible for it!
And therein lies the conundrum of responsibility.
Working as a team is wonderful. But working as a team requires well defined divisions of responsibility if things are to get done. I'm writing about this not because it necessarily matters in the case of my mom and my dog, but because it matters in many other areas of our lives.
And even our friends and family.
A highly functioning team - whether that team be at work or at home - functions at a high level because there are clear divisions of duties, and people committed to fulfilling those duties.
We don't need to do it because we don't trust each other. We need to do it because a dog with two owners never gets fed.