Accountability: the quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]
This is a topic that I have a strong passion about, and as an avid reader I have tried to find books on this topic that were engaging and I would want to read. It is a topic I think covers most aspects of our lives, whether at home, work, shopping, traveling, etc. However, I find it so lacking in the world. If we stand for honesty and integrity for what we believe in, and we follow through with those values, we are holding ourselves and hopefully in turn others accountable.
It is not that easy though. If it is hard for us to confront a family member regarding a specific situation that might make us uncomfortable, then we are not holding ourselves and those involved accountable. If we keep letting a friend off the hook and we start to feel they are abusing us, then we are not holding either individual accountable.
I finally found a book that has a chapter excerpt on accountability. It pertains to accountability with teams. The book is called: “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business” by Patrick Lencioni, he says:
“The irony of all this is that the only way for a team to develop a true culture of peer-to-peer accountability is for the leader to demonstrate that she is willing to confront difficult situations and hold people accountable herself. That’s right. The leader of the team, though not the primary source of accountability, will always be the ultimate arbiter of it. If she is reluctant to play that role–if she is a wuss who constantly balks when it’s time to call someone on their behavior or performance–then the rest of the team is not going to do their part. This makes sense. Why would a team member want to confront a colleague about an issue when the team leader isn’t willing to and is probably going to let them off the hook anyway?” (page: 56)
“At its core, accountability is about having the courage to confront someone about their deficiencies and then to stand in the moment and deal with their reaction, which may not be pleasant. It is a selfless act, one rooted in a word that I don’t use lightly in a business book: love. To hold someone accountable is to care about them enough to risk having them blame you for pointing out their deficiencies.” (page 57)
Wow. Never thought I would read that. Love. Caring enough about someone to call them out on their junk, their stuff, their baggage, even if it is uncomfortable. Are you setting goals for yourself and then not following through with them? Are you holding your team members and manager accountable?
Sometimes taking the harder road is the one that prompts us to grow. The tough route challenges us to look at life differently. Look at accountability in your life. Is it there? Are others holding you accountable? Are you holding others accountable?
Just something to mull over on your “hopefully” sunny Tuesday!