Friday, April 18, 2014

I'm Not Accountable

Most people view accountability as something that happens to them when performance
falls off, problems arise, or results fail to come about.  The fact is, many think accountability only crops up when something goes wrong or when someone else wants to pinpoint the cause of the problem - all for the sake of pinning blame and pointing the finger.  When things are sailing along smoothly, people rarely ask, “Who's accountable for this success?”  Typically, no one starts looking around for the responsible party until something adverse happens.

If you take a look at dictionaries, most provide a definition of accountability that promotes a pretty negative view.  Webster’s defines accountability as: “subject to having to report, explain, or justify; being answerable, responsible.”  Notice how the definition begins with the words, subject to, implying little choice in the matter.  This confession and powerless definition suggests that accountability is viewed as a consequence for poor performance, something you should fear because it can only end up hurting you.

Since most people experience accountability this way, it’s no wonder they spend so much time shunning it and explaining and justifying poor results.

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