If you had to give yourself a daily, weekly, or monthly report, would you be proud to talk about what you had done, or would you need to pretty things up with a little bullshit to keep your job? In life we either have results or reasons. If you are not getting the results you want, your reasons are the lies that you keep telling yourself. Accountability is the only real beginning to change.
Personal accountability is the belief that you are fully responsible for your own actions and consequences. It’s a choice, a mindset, and an expression of integrity. Some people exhibit it more than others, but it can and should be learned because it is the foundation for a successful life, and also a prerequisite for happiness and peace of mind.
“One of the clearest paths to building strong and healthy relationships is practicing mutual compassionate accountability.”
You Have a Job to Do
Have you ever seen someone step over a piece of paper rather than pick it up? Perhaps they didn’t see it, but many others did. It’s like saying, “It’s not my problem,” and expecting someone else to bend down and pick it up for them. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. Some people ignore those in need, others don’t do things until they are specifically asked. In the business world, tasks remain incomplete, deadlines are not met, and customer issues go unresolved, simply because some people say, “It’s not my job,” “it’s not my responsibility,” “it’s none of my business,” or “that’s their problem, not mine.”
Some people sit back and wait for others to step forward, while some pass the buck or pretend problems don’t exist. In the meantime, things don’t get done. What do these people want, a written invitation? Some people ONLY do the bare minimum, and nothing more – it’s like they’re allergic to going the extra mile. They usually take offence when asked to step up, as if the request is totally unreasonable. In actual fact, what they are really doing is cheating themselves and everyone else around then. If you find something that needs doing, just do it. (You shouldn’t have to be asked.) What does it take to put your best foot forward, go out of your way for someone, or do what’s right? If everyone went the extra mile – without expecting anything in return – the cumulative impact would be astronomical!
“If only I could bottle up the drowsiness that plagued me during
the day so I could use it at bedtime.”
What Keeps You Up at Night?
Perhaps you regret something that you did or feel guilty about something that you failed to do. It maybe because you haven’t been honest with others or true to yourself. Is your conscience trying to get your attention? Why do some people stay up all hours of the night, while others have peace of mind? The fact is, inner peace is a by-product of how you choose to live your life. Your habits are most likely so ingrained that you never even think about your behaviour or the many choices you make. You choose to live in the moment or to dredge up your past, see the glass half-full or see it as half-empty, and you choose to live with honour or turn a blind eye to unethical behaviour. These choices have a significant impact on your psyche, as well as on your general well-being. Peace of mind begins with the right mindset.
When you make the right choice, you’re not only making the extra effort for others, you’re doing it for yourself. Just as you wouldn’t leave money on the table when negotiating a deal, why would you do less than you’re capable of doing? Life is short. You have the ability to leave your mark on the world, and you won’t achieve greatness by doing less or being less than your best. This is not a dress rehearsal. You get out of life what you put in – it’s universal law.
“If you are driven by fear, anger or pride nature will force you to compete. If you are guided by courage, awareness, tranquility and peace nature will serve you.”
15 Guideposts for Peace of Mind
Some people have plenty of money, but their relationships are poor. They have a hefty title at work but aren’t much of a Dad or Mum at home. They’re successful, but everyone knows how they achieved that success. The truth is, some of these people are self-centred, ruthless, and unapologetic – and they know it. Maybe that’s why they’re not sleeping. Inner peace isn’t just the ability to deal with conflict; it’s knowing in your heart that you’re a person of honour and integrity. It’s knowing that you do the right thing, serve as an exemplary role model, and make a difference in the lives of others. This quality enables you to hold your head up high and to sleep well at night. If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. In your quest for power, fame, and fortune, do not overlook this simple truth: following your conscience, and having inner peace, clearly outweighs the material rewards received along the way. After all, you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.
1. Accept Responsibility.
Be the master of your destiny rather than outsourcing your responsibility to others. Stand tall by accepting accountability for your choices and for the consequences of your actions.
2. Find Your Purpose.
Make a difference. When you do something for satisfaction rather than reward, the reward is often the satisfaction of doing it.
3. Live With Honour.
Do what’s right, not out of fear of getting caught, but because your integrity matters. Be the kind of person you want to be – even when no one is looking.
4. Be Reasonable.
Strive for excellence, not perfection. Excellence is more than sufficient.
5. Develop Trusting Relationships.
Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. Gain their trust by proving that you’re worthy of it.
6. Make Everyone a Winner.
Focus on win-win relationships rather than on winner-takes-all. Seek areas of common interest, where everyone can benefit, rather than on optimising your individual situation.
7. Be Grateful.
Learn the meaning of enough. Find your happiness by appreciating what you already have.
8. Strive for Balance.
Enjoy the journey as well as the destination because, at the end of the day, it’s the journey that truly matters. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance.
9. Learn to Say “NO.”
Make your priorities a priority. Know what matters most to you and be unwilling to compromise those priorities at any price.
10. Live in the Moment
Leave the past behind. You can’t do anything to improve your past, but you can learn from it to improve your future.
11. Unclutter Your World.
Take a load off your mind. Don’t allow fear, guilt, worry, envy, and anger to weigh you down.
12. Let Go.
Keep things in perspective. You can’t control the uncontrollable, but you can control how you respond to it.
13. Be True to Yourself.
Reach for the stars and be proud of your achievements and take pride in the way that you achieve them.
14. Give of Yourself.
Not because you expect something in return, but because witnessing others’ happiness is, by itself, a worthy reward.
15. Walk in Your Power.
Hold your head up high. Make yourself proud. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?
“The world is not ready for some people when they show up, but that shouldn’t stop anyone.”
Raise Your Personal Standards
Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” We like to put that another way: Surround yourself with 5 losers and you’ll become the 6th. We are all connected, which means people will influence you. Be hyper-aware of the impact those around you have on your behaviour. Don’t ever let bad habits, weak character, low standards, or immoral behaviour rub off on you. Keeping bad company is like swimming in a polluted river: you never know what you’ll catch!
To be your own person, you must set your bar high and not lower your standards for anyone. Some of the most precious things you possess are your honour and integrity, your dignity, and your reputation. Choose to be the person others look up to – whose character is beyond reproach. Be the one who inspires others to achieve excellence. At the end of the day, if you’re not proud of who you are and the way you choose to live your life, little else matters.
10 Ways People Degrade Themselves
No one make you do anything without your permission. Your personal standards define you. Never lower your standards, compromise your integrity, or dishonour your name.
Give in to temptation. Some people stretch the truth, let their eyes wander, or get seduced by money and power. All that glitters is not gold. Have the willpower and self-respect to say “No.”
Relax their standards. Some people are tempted to lower their standards because others are slacking off. While it may be appealing to take a breather, bad habits are hard to break.
Follow the crowd. Some people follow the pack because they assume others know better. Even though a group may provide comfort and security, it doesn’t guarantee that their motives are pure or that they’re thinking rationally or ethically. Know when to say “No.”
Mimic inappropriate behaviour. Some people fall into a bad crowd and imitate their behaviour. The truth is, “Everybody does this” which is why it’s so important to be mindful of the company you keep. Don’t become the 6th loser.
Look the other way. Some people turn their backs, fail to speak out, or cover up for unethical behaviour because it’s convenient. Every time you close your eyes to immorality or injustice, you are condoning it.
Crave acceptance. Some people will do anything to win acceptance from the in-crowd. Think long and hard before you pay the price of admission. It’s higher than you think.
Get dragged into conflict. Some people always seem to be looking for a fight. While you may be provoked to jump in, think twice before you take the plunge. As a famous saying goes, “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”
Lose control of their temper. Some people respond emotionally, which is never a good idea. If you’re angry or upset, count to 10 before communicating your feelings. If that doesn’t work, try 20.
Compromise their values. It’s sometimes necessary to compromise on your ideas to achieve a mutual goal, but never compromise your values.
Take shortcuts. Some people act unethically to look good, cover their behind, or get what they want. The prize for living with honour and integrity is that, even though you won’t win all the time, when you do you’ll win the right way, which means you get to feel good about your win.
“Accountability crumbles silos, boosts teamwork and collaboration, strengthens camaraderie, creativity, resiliency, agility, trust, and communication.”
– Mike Evans
Accountability Gets Results
When you make the personal choice to rise above your circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results – to See It, Own It, Solve It and Do It – success is a given. Accountable leaders lay a path for teams to follow with courage and honesty. If it is approached correctly, accountability can produce massive, positive, measurable results. Results including:
Better employee participation and involvement
Increased feelings of competency
More commitment to work from employees
More innovation and creativity
Higher satisfaction at work
Become an accountable leader who can lead a team of accountable employees by making sure you are ready to lead, choosing the right team, rewarding employee successes and building your own personal strengths to lead successfully. People who look up to you watch every move that you make – so don’t let them down. Priorities reveal what’s important to you. Your action and behaviour speaks volumes. Doing nothing says everything. Silence says everything.
“Don’t get up from the feast of life without paying for your share of it.”
– W. R. Inge
Personal Accountability – the Portal to Stress Management
Many of today’s leaders have blindly bought into the concept that engagement and happiness come from a lack of stress at work. As a result, they’ve spent an exorbitant amount of time, effort and resources working to perfect their team’s circumstances. Unfortunately, this tends to create nothing more than a culture of entitled employees with unrealistic expectations. The truth is, this approach is not sustainable long-term, nor will it help prepare teams for navigating through tough times. Work to bulletproof your people instead of attempting to make their world a cosier place.
Once they stop focusing on what’s happening “to” them, they can focus on what they can do within their current circumstances to succeed. This is the path to results and success. Not only that, results will lead to a happier, more engaged attitude because it reaffirms they are the architects of their own lives and can handle whatever comes their way. Once they realise how competent they are, a greater confidence in their abilities will follow. Many people view the idea of taking accountability as a stressful moment of having to face the music. They are dealing with the unknown and the unknown can be scary. What will happen if they admit a mistake? Who will judge them? How will this impact their job?
Here’s the thing: taking personal accountability is one of the best ways to decrease stress and anxiety on the job. This means everyone can stop worrying and looking over their shoulders anxiously stressing about what’s happening in the shadows. When you take ownership of your own success, it automatically pulls you out of being a victim of circumstance. This is called having an internal locus of control vs. an external one. Internal locus of control is often used synonymously with “self-determination”. Your locus of control can have a major impact on your life, from how you cope with stress to your motivation to take charge of your life. When you view life from a place of internal locus of control, you are focused on what you can do. Focussing on what you can 100% control and letting go of what you cannot. However, when you view life from a place of external locus of control your sense of being out of control heightens, which increases your stress levels.
“Blaming, whining, deflecting accountability, risk aversion, and resistance to change are but a handful of symptoms of the adversity-beaten individual and organisation.”
– Paul G. Stoltz
Much of our stress comes from resisting the reality that is showing up for us in the moment. We invest so much energy on who is to blame, complaining about not getting the result we wanted and throwing emotional tantrums at the injustice of it all! The real power comes from embracing what is showing up in the reality we get to work with. Just because it’s our reality today, it doesn’t mean it will be the only reality we ever have for the rest of our lives. Embracing reality takes us from the emotional to the rational side of thinking, which invites us to starting thinking about what’s next.
Invite yourself to tap into your resourcefulness. Once you’ve embraced reality and you start thinking about what’s next, you can move from the fear of the unknown to the creative process of coming up with solutions. You can start looking around the issue and see where the opportunities are, who might be able to help and what new approach you can come up with. This feels empowering and can it be truly exciting. Recognise you are more than any mistake you have made. As harsh as other people’s judgments can feel, our real enemy is within. How much do you berate yourself when you don’t do something perfectly? Do you tell yourself horror stories about what might happen to you? The gentler you are with yourself, the more compassion you will have for others. Also, self-soothing and telling yourself that everything is going to work out invites your brain to start looking for ideas to make it work out.
Own your choices.
If you’ve dropped the ball, intentionally or not, then you owning that is the key to maintaining and building trust with yourself and those impacted by your decisions. Trust doesn’t get destroyed because of the mistakes we have made, it gets destroyed or built by how poorly or effectively we step up to the plate and own what we’ve done.
Create space for learning.
Don’t get caught up in the blame game. If someone needs to vent to you in reaction to something you’ve done, provide the space to hear them out. See this as an opportunity to learn how you come across, what others may need, and any blind spots you didn’t know existed. This isn’t about feeling bad about yourself. It’s about being able to empathise with others and share remorse when your choices negatively impact them.
When you know better, do better.
Learning is useless without the doing. Once you see a better way of showing up then don’t put wasted energy on lamenting over the past. Focus on the discipline of changing your mindset and behaviour to align with this new learning. You, showing up in a different way, is the proof that you are going to deliver different outcomes.
Use performance reviews to demonstrate personal accountability.
Get out of the habit of using performance reviews to prove personal worth. Instead, use these times as a chance to own the outcomes you’ve delivered. This includes owning what worked and what didn’t. Focus on learning from the year vs. trying to build a case for why your manager should like or approve of you.
When you trust yourself to be creative and solve unexpected outcomes, then you are less caught up in whether other people are pointing fingers or judging you. Remember that making mistakes actually accelerates learning.
“Be accountable for doing the right things. This means ethical execution of the activities that will actually support the goals you have chosen for yourself.”
– Sam Silverstein
How Accountable is Your Team?
Here are four factors to consider that contribute directly to personal accountability and can make for a happier outlook and better results:
Being committed means the team are willing to do what it takes to get results, no matter what the challenge or task at hand. It means readily buying in to what is asked of them, even if it isn’t in their immediate job description. Those who are accountable are willing to fulfil a larger role for the good of the organisation.
Do your employees throw a pity party every time they hit a bump in the road? Are they quick to give up at the first sign of trouble? Yes, it’s a valid feeling, but acting on it could mean they are less than resilient to say the least. Help your people channel their inner tenacity and make an effort to bounce back quickly from setbacks. Encourage them to push on no matter what and they will soon realise they hold more power than they think.
Having full ownership over our actions and results involves the ability to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly. Help your team recognise the positive aspects of what they contribute at work and prepare them to receive feedback on areas of improvement. Help them view the process as a stepping-stone to getting better at their job and, ultimately, happier at work. If they prove they can own up to improvements that need to be made and honour them, their pain will go away – all while making a bigger impact.
4. Continuous Learning
Making mistakes is never fun, but accountable people don’t view them as failures. Rather, they view them as teachable moments that will help make them better and more successful in the future. Encourage your team to resist the urge to pin the blame on external factors and, instead, use what they’ve learned to explore new options for the future.
The takeaway? Victim mindsets do not lead to success. Victims allow themselves to be stuck in the status quo and they excel at seeing the faults in others, ignoring their own accountability. They take others’ inventory of faults and are excellent at blaming. Once teams learn to embrace personal accountability, increased engagement and happiness will follow. Accept that you will be medicine for some, and poison for others. When you stay true to yourself, that will be more of a reflection of them rather than you. You are not the victim of your story; you are the creator of your story. You get to choose what type of person you will be and what type of impact you will leave on others.
“Accountability is a key concept in moving an organisation forward,
especially in a challenging business climate.”
– Cindy Tucker
How to Hold People Accountable
This is a story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
So how do you create a culture of accountability and hold people accountable?
The answer is SIMPLE:
S = SET EXPECTATIONS
The success of any organisation comes down to one thing: how well it organises its people to focus on, and work toward, the same purpose. Employees need to know what is expected of them before they can be held accountable for anything. The clearer the up front goals and expectations, the less time wasted clarifying later (or worse – arguing about what was really expected).
I = INVITE COMMITMENT
Just because people know what to do, doesn’t mean they will do it. After goals and expectations are set, employees need to commit to achieving them. People are more likely to do this when they understand two things: how the goals will benefit them personally, and how the goals will help move the organisation forward. Once this connection is made they are more likely to buy into the goals, and actually welcome being held accountable for the results.
M = MEASURE PROGRESS
You cannot manage what you do not measure, so information is needed. Goals are only measurable when they are quantified. Measure ongoing performance and gauge whether or not people meet the goals and expectations they have committed to. Measure the results and compare them to the goals to discover any gaps that require further attention.
P = PROVIDE FEEDBACK
Feedback won’t solve problems by itself, but it will open the door for problem-solving discussions and follow-up actions. People need feedback to do a good job and improve in areas where performance is falling short of expectations. Most of the time, providing sound, objective, behavioural feedback is all it takes. Setting expectations, followed by quality feedback is the backbone of holding someone accountable for results.
L = LINK TO CONSEQUENCES
Sometimes people need a little external motivation to live up to their commitments. When they struggle to reach their goals, they can be helped by administering appropriate consequences (which don’t have to be dire). Consequences may include additional guidance and support.
E = EVALUATE EFFECTIVENESS
Review how the process has been handled. Put a systematic and consistent method in place and an amazing thing happens: when people are held accountable for the work that must get done, it gets done.
For goals to be meaningful and effective in motivating people, they must be tied to larger organisational ambitions. Employees who don’t understand the role they play in company success are more likely to become disengaged. No matter what level or title you hold, you should be able to articulate exactly how your efforts feed into the broader company strategy.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
The Worst Mistake A Business Can Make
“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home”
— Ken Olsen
Have you ever heard of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)? In 1990, DEC was riding high, ranked only behind IBM in the computer industry. However, under the leadership of Ken Olsen (Yes – that Ken Olsen) DEC rigidly stuck with its original vision. Regrettably, DEC’s product lines were incompatible with emerging operating systems. Complacency is a dangerous culture that permeates beyond the walls of mega corporations and extends into the reaches of every day companies and institutions. Complacency almost always comes from a sense of success, and lives on long after the success that created it has disappeared. Organisations and individuals that are complacent do not look for new opportunities… or hazards.
Complacency ignores opportunities, big and small. It turns a blind eye to serious and dangerous threats. It hushes innovative ideas. It stomps on energy, enthusiasm and anything new. It hangs on to the old ways of doing things with white, arthritic knuckles. It doesn’t want to hear or see what is happening in the world. Learning new things is not up for discussion. It is of no concern to those who are complacent. Change is inevitable, but complacency doesn’t have to be. When a company is so internally focused and only does what has worked for them in the past, they pay insufficient attention to new opportunities and frightening new hazards. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop asked a question that many of his employees were probably afraid to answer truthfully, given how Nokia was struggling to combat the iPhone. He asked how many people in the crowd used iPhone or Android devices, and very few hands went up. His response: “That upsets me, not because some of you are using iPhones, but because only a small number of people are using iPhones. I’d rather people have the intellectual curiosity to understand what we’re up against.” In a fast-moving and changing world, a sleepy or hard-headed complacency can create disaster.
“Beware of success. It can knock you into a fixed mindset: “I won because I have talent. Therefore I will keep winning.” Success can infect a team or it can infect an individual.”
The Fight Against Corporate Complacency
Some companies seem to be dealing with complacency head on. In it’s value statement, Northwood has declared “war” against corporate complacency:
“If the culture of an organisation is one of complacency, and mediocrity, the interaction might be an average, or below average experience. If the culture is one of excellence, commitment, honesty and integrity, the experience will likely be entirely different. The culture at Northwoods will always be the latter of the two. Complacency and mediocrity are not qualities of our employees and therefore will never have a place in our corporate culture”.
“We refuse to be complacent, embrace every opportunity for greater challenge, and are confident in achieving our goals with unwavering passion and ingenious thinking”.
“Life is for living not for been stuck in a rut of complacency
where normality consists of the mundane.”
OUT With Complacency & IN With Accountability
People need to be challenged because when they are outside their comfort zones, that’s where the magic happens. Cultivate “what if” scenarios and invite sceptical outsiders to comment on what you feel complacent about. A trusted Devil’s advocate is an invaluable resource. If it ain’t broke, consider breaking it. Investigate how new disruptive technology could alter your situation. Be brave enough to ask “How could we do this ten times better?”, or even braver and ask “How does this work when it doesn’t work?”. Benchmark against someone entirely different, if your present comparison merely re-enforces your certainty. Don’t just fight complacency, invest in innovation.
More and more organisations are headlining their leadership competency model with ‘Accountability’. While this has tended to be an assumed trait (not one to call-out, develop, and monitor) clearly there are many who struggle with the ownership mindset. Accountability is simply a willingness to be answerable for an outcome. It’s so easy to see a lack of accountability in others.
“Sorry I’m late but my alarm didn’t go off.”
“Yes there are typos, but I only had three hours to write the report.”
“How can I reach my sales target when the competition cut their price by 25%?”
It is not uncommon for someone to be a self-saboteur and compound that by also having a victim mentality. It is as though they are holding their own breath and then blaming others for their inability to breathe. If they can break free from this cycle, everything in their life changes for the better. A leader with strong competency in demonstrating personal accountability provides an inspiring model for team members to emulate. Where embracing accountability is fostered, a team’s cohesion, trust, resilience, confidence and performance pride are well supported, and its potential for success in meeting its goals is strengthened.
“To take responsibility for yourself as a leader and person; you need to learn
to unlearn bad habits, and learn from your mistakes.”
– Andrea Reibmayr
Crisis of Accountability
“In the years I’ve been thinking and talking about leadership, I’ve come to realise that the desperate need for accountable leaders is the fundamental challenge organsations are facing today,” Vince Molinaro wrote his 2016 book The Leadership Contract. We can have a brilliant process, a solid structure, and a great team. But if, at the end of the day, we are not achieving the ambitioned goals, there is an obvious problem somewhere. In many cases, this problem is directly related to a failure on the standards of accountability. According to the Landmark Workplace Accountability Study, 85% of the professionals surveyed missed clarity on the expected company results, 93% were unable to align their work or take accountability for desired results, and 84% blamed leaders’ behaviour as the single most crucial factor influencing responsibility in their organisations.
“There’s a crisis of accountability in organisations today, a crisis of epidemic proportions,” said Roger Connors, chief of the study. “When properly approached, accountability can really be the low-hanging fruit for optimising organisational performance and accelerating organisational change efforts.“
“We must take stock of our actions before we take others to task for theirs. And we’ll know that we’ve done that successfully when we find ourselves taking ourselves to task and suddenly realising in that rather revealing process that the process can probably end with us.”
5 Laws of Accountable Leaders
Accountability means ownership. And it is a non-negotiable requirement at every single organisational level. Accountable leaders at all levels understand the importance of two-way accountability and act accordingly. They never look for scapegoats because they are fully accountable for their team’s success.
- Accountable Leaders take full responsibility for decisions
Positive results depend greatly on the right choices. Right decisions rely on agreeing who is accountable for carrying it out (roles), when it must be implemented (clear deadlines), who will be affected by it, and who needs to be informed about it. Trouble is inevitable whenever these bases are not covered.
- Accountable Leaders take responsibility for communication
Accountable leaders make sure that their decisions and actions plans are clearly understood. They make clear the information, inputs, and results they expect. When misunderstandings occur, they do not focus on the negative role played by their team members but on their role in miscommunicating their message. Accountable leaders take ownership of negative results. They take responsibility for addressing nonperforming individuals, and the positive performance of those around them. They listen first and speak last.
- Accountable Leaders think and say, “We” instead of “I”
82% of the surveyed professionals by the Landmark Workplace Accountability Study reported failing on making others accountable. Without a sense of trust and teamwork, employees do not magically align to leaders’ authority. Making people obey an order does not imply positive results. Making people accountable does. The kind of positive authority that makes people feel responsible comes from their ability to trust the leader. According to the American Psychological Association’s 2016 Work and Well-Being Survey, workers are more motivated to work hard when they feel valued. Ninety-five percent of respondents who said they feel valued by their employer said they felt motivated to do their best.
- Accountable Leaders run effective meetings
Effective and accountable leaders care about resources. They start and finish on time because they feel responsible for peoples’ time, energy and effort. They know meetings are a process towards higher productivity, honest communication, stronger team building, and better results. Meetings are a tool for accountable results by being articulated around a clear purpose and followed-up process, with a transparent summarising email containing work assignments and deadlines.
- Accountable Leaders transform problems into constructive feedback
Accountability is incorrectly perceived as strictly consequential and almost entirely after-the-fact. 80% of those surveyed say feedback is something that happens to them only when things go wrong, or not at all. Constructive feedback is essential at all levels and all stages. Things can always be better done. Effectiveness is a discipline that can be learned and must be earned.
“If we want unity, we must all be unifiers. If we want accountability,
each of us must be accountable for all we do.”
– Christine Gregoire
WANTED: More Heroes
Everyone has a hero. Who do you look up to? What makes them so special? How do your role models influence how you live your life? Why is your role model so rare, and why do you look up to that individual? Is it their moral character, the way they treat others, their overall perspective, or something entirely different? Heroes and role models don’t have to be rich, powerful, or famous. They don’t have to look the most attractive, wear the fanciest clothes, or drive the most expensive cars. They are as commonplace as a family member, business colleague, or even the person next door. However, they represent someone very special in your life and in the lives of others. You, yourself, may be a hero or role model to someone and not even be aware of it.
Heroes are usually busy, but they always find time to make a difference. They don’t think they’re special, but they make you feel that way. They’re quiet and unassuming, yet they can light up a room when they enter it. They don’t flaunt their success because their achievements speak for themselves. Exemplary role models believe in the power of good — not what’s good for them but what’s good for everyone. People don’t “sign up” to be role models; others just naturally gravitate toward them and look up to them. Role models continually cast an aura of light and goodness that’s simply hard to ignore. They don’t do things to seek the limelight or be popular. They aren’t perfect, and they’ll be the first to admit that to you. They silently do things and, often, they are the only ones who know the good they’re doing. They take great pride in knowing they’re making a difference — and they are!
“Truly accountable leadership is the only way to build an organisation that can not only survive in our increasingly complicated world but also grow and thrive.”
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