Both on stage, and on page, I talk a lot about the importance of accountability… in families, on teams, and in organizations. I believe accountability is a key pillar of high performing cultures. Accountability is something you do for a teammate, not something you do to a teammate. Holding someone accountable is a ‘gift’ that shows you care. Holding someone to a high standard of excellence in essence says, ‘I care so much about you… and I care so much about us… that I am not going to let you do less than you are capable of.’ Teams that openly, and honesty, hold each other accountable consistently are the ones that win.
But before you hold others accountable, you must hold yourself accountable. After all, if you expect it of others… you need to expect of yourself.
Thus, personal accountability is real foundation. Personal accountability is the concept of taking full responsibility and ownership for your own actions, habits, behaviors, and decisions. It’s acknowledging the impact of our choices on ourselves and others and being willing to take ownership of the consequences that come with them.
Personal accountability is a key element in leading a successful and fulfilling life. When we take ownership of our actions, we are empowered to make positive changes and improvements. We are also more likely to experience feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.
On the other hand, when we avoid personal accountability for our actions, we fall victim to a trilogy of behaviors – blaming, complaining, and making excuses – which immediately undermine our performance, productivity, and fulfillment… and erode our self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
When we blame, complain, and make excuses we deflect personal accountability. We make everything someone else’s fault. This causes unconscious feelings of helplessness and powerlessness, which heightens our internal struggle to find solutions to our problems.
The foundation of personal accountability is self-awareness. We need to be able to recognize, acknowledge, and own our strengths, talents, goals, and passions… as well as our shortcomings, flaws, fears, and insecurities. We need to be aware of – and completely own – all of it.
This means being honest about our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and acknowledging our role in creating our own experiences. It also means being honest about what we do well and recognizing the areas where we need to improve.
Another important aspect of personal accountability is being open and willing to take appropriate, calculated risks. We cannot grow and improve without taking risks. When we take responsibility for our actions, we open ourselves up to new opportunities, and we can learn from our mistakes.
In both our personal and professional lives, personal accountability is crucial for building trust and respect. Being accountable means being reliable and dependable, and it also means being open to feedback and willing to make changes when necessary.
Personal accountability is a vital aspect of leading a successful and fulfilling life. It empowers us to take ownership of our choices (and not blame, complain, or make excuses), stimulate positive changes, and build trust and respect with those we care about. It allows us to be honest with ourselves, take worthwhile risks, and enjoy a more meaningful and satisfying life.