The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch. ~ Michael Armstrong
Now I’m thinking there are very few things that you need to be held accountable to the extent of putting your life on the line. Still, the point is made.
Accountability is simply a way of saying you are willing and able to answer for what you do. It is a HUGE sign of your character. A lack of accountability is the reason why so many people fail or give up at their attempts to improve their life, get a promotion or move forward.
People who refuse to take responsibility for their actions:
- are really good at making flimsy excuses
- do the very least they are required to
- put things off
- act like they don’t know
- tend to blame others or circumstance
C’mon now..we all know this person. This person has a reputation for being irresponsible and not caring. This is not the person we want to have our business or our personal lives associated with. It can be frustrating and sometimes impact on our own reputations.
Are you always accountable?
It can sometimes be a tough deal some days to face the music when things go wrong but there is big difference between a reason for a problem and excuses. For example one client of mine was having trouble getting a big project underway. At first she didn’t take much responsibility for the problems. Her team was letting HER down. I asked her one day what was a project managers role in this type of thing. She started talking about resources and overseeing. At one point she caught herself mentioning motivation of the team and leadership. I asked her where that was in this project? There was a long pause. You see, she was finding excuses for her stuff not being done because of her team. BUT it was her responsiblity as the project manager to ensure the team worked. The reason is her team isn’t motivated to complete the project on time; who’s responsiblity was that? Yup, ouch. That was a tough session for her.
Another example is a gentlemen who wanted to get fit but claims he cannot. Seems he slips easily because he has no one but himself he is accountable for. This is why so many of these weight loss programs work. The group mentality, getting weighed in with everyone watching, support of others when having a tough go, sharing stories; this all leads to a different type of accountability. Personal accountability is the feeling of being obligated or that you should do something and doing it even when it is tough. This gentlemen attended my group coaching sessions and started to make a bit of progress because he held himself accountable to the group. (You can do this too!)
The thing is stepping up and holding yourself accountable, both at work and at home, creates respect, trust and authority. It helps you find success and to end up living your better life!
People with accountability:
- make mistakes and can admit it
- look for information if they don’t know it
- ask for help when then need it
- own their problems
- understand they don’t have to do it all
Accountability is one of the fastest ways to get and keep control in your life. Ironically it is also what makes great leaders. Interesting connection isn’t it?
Check out Take Action Tuesdays where we learn the ins and outs of this. Time to take action to start creating that better life!