Accountability. Five things it Is and Isn’t….by my reckoning tonight

16 Apr

Accountability is on my mind tonight…ringing through my ears tonight due to an ongoing situation in our lives.  Stay tuned and I’ll write about what’s up at some later date…but for tonight I gotta brain-dump about Accountability.  What it Is….and What it Ain’t.

A hybrid/generic definition of Accountability is a logical place to start, just to make sure we’re talking apples-to-apples:  Accountability is the act of being held accountable or answerable for one’s actions or performance….ie, having to answer to the standard of “doing what you say you’ll do”.  Pretty straightforward, right?  Riiiigggghhhht.

1.  Accountability is Cheap but it ain’t Free.  Anyone can play but ya’ gotta buy a ticket.  In fact, Everybody should play and Everybody should buy the ticket!  By that I mean, hold me accountable to do the stuff I”m supposed to do and then be ready that I’ll reciprocate.  AKA “what comes around goes around”!

2.  Accountability is Positive but not Absolute.  People generally live up to (or down to) the expectations we set for them.  By requiring accountability of those around us we help them become better people:  It’s Really That Simple.  However, because we all are blessed (or cursed…LOL) with differing levels of ability it’s important that we’re able to “flex” our accountability-expectations accordingly.

3.  Accountabilty is Internal, not External.  Did you run 4 times last week?  Or not.  Period.  Ultimately we’re accountable only to ourselves, right?  Of course, some External pressure/reminders helps to develop our Internal watchdog!

4.  Accountability is Required…ain’t Optional.  Our entire society requires that everyone do the things expected of them.  Most folks can get by within a partial expectation-delivery paradigm, it’s the few who hold themselves to a higher standard of accountability that migrate to the top of the heap.

5.  Accountability is Learned, not Inate.  As far as we know this is our 1st trip through this realm of existence and most of what we “know” we’ve learned.  Sure, there are some instinctive things we do but most, if not all, our social behaviors are learned.  Our parents were our first “accountability agents” and we learned the beginnings of accountability there.

If you’re The Boss/Coach/Parent remember you cannot expect anyone “under” you to exceed the level of accountability to which you hold yourself.  But you already knew that, right?  Hold yourself to a High Level of Accountability and others will be compelled to Step Up….try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Buy your ticket, be positive, own it internally, accept that it’s required and embrace the Learning.



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