You Are Responsible
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

February 6, 2018, Los Angeles, CA, USA

You may have noticed on the title of this and all blogs in recent years the title CEO. That means Chief Executive Officer, that means in plain English that I am responsible, for everything.

Some days it is too much. Some days like yesterday, there are 18 hours of travel where nothing goes well and then you receive an e mail from some guy who wants to know what his T shirt has not arrived yet. After all he ordered it yesterday from the USA and does not understand that it takes time.  

And the bottom line is I am responsible. And in your life you are responsible.

Now I have a point to make. My point is going to be that no matter who is at fault, when it comes to your life, you are responsible. I shall explain.

It may very well be true that someone else is to blame, but the point is, that does not matter, at all, to anyone. Got it?

Yesterday I arrived at the airport in Mexico, I had 3.5 hours to spare. Yet I knew that I must not waste my time, the flight waits for no one. As a veteran traveler I know that the first order of business is Find Your Gate: Do not go to Starbucks, do not buy souvenirs, do not get a bite to eat, do not pass Go, do not collect 200. Go to the Gate and make sure you know where it is.  

So I check the monitor and see Los Angeles, gate G. Terrific. But I cannot find Gate G, so I ask; Descuple, por favor, Donde Puerto G? Where is Gate G. I am told to go here, there and everywhere, but I cannot find it. 

Finally a passenger explains to me that when a gate of departure is not announced yet, they simply put a random letter. One needs to wait. So I wait. But where? I wait where I know there are several flights leaving for LA, I figure that is a good bet. But only at 8:09 do I see the gate, and the flight is at 8:35 and the gate is very far away. So I run, and I run, with my luggage. And I run until I am out of breath but I know I cannot stop or I will miss my flight, so I run, and I make the flight, ready to collapse.

And there are more stories, the stories from this week alone can fill several pages. And the lesson is - Never assume anyone else is doing the job you expect them to do. Never!

If you know someone is going to pick you up at the airport, contact them and remind them. Remind, Reconfirm, Record. If you ordered a taxi to take you to the airport, call up again, reconfirm. And yes, we hate this, we hate to be a nag. I am known to repeat myself. I am known to be a "pest and a control freak" but you know what? It is not enough.

I just had a seminar cancelled, no it was not my fault but I should have reconfirmed. So now I will be even more of a nag. Check, Double check and check again. Check on your flight, check on your taxi and airport pickup. Remind people to prepare your check. And never ever feel ashamed that you will be called a nuisance. You know why? Because the bottom line is when things do not go as you expect you are responsible even if it is not your fault.

Yes, that is the point, even if you are not at fault, someone else messed up, someone else is to blame, the bottom line is that you are still responsible. When you work for yourself this is easier to see. When you work for others you can always blame someone else and go home for dinner. When it is your business dinner is cancelled. 

If I miss my flight I am responsible and must learn some lessons. I asked the flight attendants; how is it that others knew where to go? What do they know that I do not? I must learn from this incident. 

I can blame the airport, I can blame many people but had I missed my flight there would be questions to be answered and they would be directed at me. As I learned many years ago when I worked at a bank; to the customer you are the bank.

They do not care that some jerk at the back office messed up their account, they are taking to you!

If there is a problem with a T shirt order I will not refer you to some Hebrew speaking person at a factory you never heard of, you will speak directly to me and get a fair answer. I am responsible and the buck stops here.

And that is our approach to Krav Maga as well. Success has many fathers but failure is a poor orphan. We do not offer excuses, you and you alone are responsible for your success and you and you alone are responsible for your own self defense. Do not count on anyone else to do the work for you.

You must contact us, you must make that move, you must sign up, you must come for training. I am responsible for my job just as you are responsible for yours. 

Dictators rise to power by shifting the blame on innocent scapegoats, true leaders take matters into their own hands and say, Guys, role up your sleeves and let's get to work! 

In Europe the Jews were blamed for the ills of society. Why? Because they were successful!  So the Jews were killed and society was much poorer for it. Success should breed imitation, not hatred. The Talmud says, if you see someone successful, join him in business. 

 והוי משתדל עם אדם שהשעה משחקת לו אמר רב פפא לא למיזבן

מיניה ולא לזבוני ליה אלא למעבד שותפות בהדיה

(פסחים קיב' א)

 "and you should make an effort with one whom the hour is favorable for. Rabbi Papa said, not to buy from him, and not to sell to him, but to make a partnership with him." (Babylonian Talmud, tractate Pesahim, page 112A)

Blaming others, even if we kill them or burn them at the stake (as was done to the Jews during the inquisitions), does not solve the problem. We are responsible for our own fate. 

So check, double check, confirm, reconfirm. Worse comes to worse people think you are a little crazy, but you will be the one they can count on. You will be the one who gets things done.

You are responsible for your own life. 

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