We often wonder about accountability. Is it the missing link for teams? Does it affect morale? Understanding accountability has much more to do with success than many employees realize.
Nobody is held accountable.
It wasn’t my responsibility.
That’s not my job.
You have probably heard all three, and have likely said at least one. Is this a problem with accountability?
Who is Responsible?
Accountability has a direct impact on culture. If few are willing to take responsibility, even fewer will be accountable.
Responsibility is a big job. There is much more risk involved with being responsible. Without responsibility no one really cares when the project gets delivered. No one cares about the quality, and why should anyone care about the customer?
The root of accountability starts with responsibility. A bad outcome may not be your mistake. It may not be your fault, that doesn’t mean you’re not responsible.
Unlearning the Escape
As children we may have gotten off the hook by claiming, “It wasn’t my fault!” We learned that when the blame shifts so does the responsibility. When we aren’t responsible we can’t be blamed.
It may have worked in your childhood because playing was probably more important than leading. You were fed and cared for regardless of the outputs of your actions.
Ready to make a difference in your career? Understanding accountability is critical for your advancement. It is critical for culture.
Certainly, you can take more than one path. What you’ll need to realize though is that taking responsibility, even when it is not your fault, is being accountable.
When you are in a leadership role, you have responsibilities. Hold yourself accountable.
If you supervise other employees, lead committees, or make recommendations that guide outcomes, understand that people who accept responsibility will be much more likely to be accountable.
Accountability changes your position.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.