by Penny Herman-Polayes
One of the core elements that support business to run effectively is the accountability level of the members. The same can be true in other groups: families, volunteers, organizations or sports teams. Since accountability is so important, let’s examine what accountability is and look at why so many struggle with being accountable.
Accountability is being the source of everything, choosing to act and owning one’s results, with no reasons, stories or excuses. Simply put — accountability is being able to account for the choices you have made or are making that has you experiencing the results that you have. Accountability is about choice.
It’s easy to be accountable when things are good — like completing the report ahead of time or bringing the project in early. We can puff-out our chest and let everyone know what choices we made to assist us in being ahead of the game. However, unforeseen circumstances (that were out of our control) often come up and get in our way of accomplishing what we said we would do. This can lead to a round of “The Blame Game.” This game allows us to use those circumstances as excuses for causing us, for example, to arrive at work late, to miss an appointment or not get the report completed by the deadline. When we go into this mindset, we go into react and defend mode, another place on the game board. Then we draw the card that allows us to become the “victim of our circumstances.” As the victim, we get to react and defend. Whereas those who move to the “accountable people” place on the board, choose to create and act, and are always the winner.
Victims feel that they have no choice and are powerless to see any other choice. Georgette Mosbacher, a successful business owner and author was asked how she climbed from poverty and obscurity to the very highest levels of success. She replied “I know I can’t be a winner and a whiner at the same time. I choose to be a winner.” Like Georgette, accountable people create and take action.
Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, as well as many other books and programs on self-esteem and personal effectiveness, refers to the formula: E + R = O
E is the external event that occurs. R is our response to that event. O is the outcome.
Events occur in business and life. We often don’t control what happens. What we always have control over is how we respond to what is occurring. It is these two components combined that generate the outcomes in our lives. So in life, we always have choice and it’s our choice to come from an accountable stand or a victim stand. We can account for our choices — good or not so good — that have us where we are right now, and then declare and move forward. Being accountable will assist us all in living the life of our dreams.