The Accountability Blog

No Purpose, No Mission; Know Your Purpose, Know Your Mission!

What is your Purpose in life? What is your Mission? They are not the same. It is quite common for people (and teams and even entire organizations) to get a little confused about what a Purpose is and how it differs from a Mission. This confusion does not exist for accountable leaders and the team members who report to them. Truly accountable leaders know that their Purpose is the reason they are here, phrased in

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American Airlines’ Mission Failure: A Lesson in Corporate Culture

You may have seen the story a couple of years back about a group of 41 Oklahoma fifth-graders and their teachers, booked on a once-in-a-lifetime field trip to Washington, D.C., were unceremoniously abandoned in the terminal by the world’s largest air carrier, American Airlines. The kids had been planning their trip for over a year. American left the youngsters and the teachers stranded… by cancelling the June 2 flight from Oklahoma City to Virginia without

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What Accountability Looks Like in Action

Kaylah Rainey signs her letter of intent with Northwestern … and Northwestern becomes a national role model for accountability. The only time you become an effective leader is when you are accountable. And you only become accountable when you are committed. Commitment is at the very core of accountability and true leadership. If the leader is committed, then everyone will be committed! This is a very simple concept, yet you’d be surprised how many leaders

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It’s All of Us

Community service is not a punishment. Accountability is not a way of doing; it is a way of thinking. Accountability is keeping your commitments to people … and a commitment is No Matter What. I believe that when you start adopting this No Matter What mindset on a regular basis, you can not only transform your team … but you also can begin the process of changing the world and make it a better place.

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Google Assistant Responds to “Tell me something good” with Positive News

But actions still speak louder than words! We live in a hyper-connected, hyper-informed era. Thanks to today’s round-the-clock media cycles, mobile devices, and social media platforms, you and I can set up news feeds that allow us to take in more news per day than ever before. That’s a good thing…right? Well — yes and no. The trouble is, lots and lots of the news we end up exposing ourselves to is bad. If we’re

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Accountable Leaders Learn to Spot Cultural Drift

What if the culture you designed for your company isn’t the culture your people are actually living? A client of mine recently told me, “I know in my heart that fundamentally we have a great culture at our company… but lately, I feel like something is off, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.” I said, “Does it feel like you’re not quite hitting the bulls-eye that you used to hit

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American Airlines Can Be Better … And I Know How

Prior to the pandemic, last year the Wall Street Journal released its rankings of the best and worst major US airlines. It will come as no huge surprise to any frequent flier, I think, that American Airlines came in dead last. The bottom of this list is, of course, a bad place for any airline to be for even a single year, but it is worth noticing that this unenviable position on the Journal’s list

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In Baseball, and Life, Lying is the Opposite of Accountability

The truth is the truth. The rules are the rules. You may have seen the story a few years back about New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier, who pulled a fast one on the umpires – and on all of us. His story connects directly to the issue of accountability. In a game against the Dodgers, Frazier got credit for making a catch that he didn’t make. Chasing a ball hit into foul territory,

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Accountability and the Challenge of AI

What can a robot teach us about accountability? Quite a lot, it turns out. A recent op-ed in the British newspaper The Guardian, provocatively entitled A Robot Wrote this Entire Article. Are You Scared Yet, Human?, addressed that timeless sci-fi scenario: machines rising up against humanity. The newspaper’s editors asked a cutting-edge language generator. GPT-3, to convince us all that humanity has nothing to fear from robots. The article makes fascinating reading. I will leave

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Albert Einstein On Servant Leadership

Accountability really is the highest form of leadership. In “The 100,” his fascinating survey ranking the most influential human beings ever to walk the earth, author Michael Hart placed Albert Einstein at #10, well ahead of such figures as Julius Caesar, Martin Luther, and William Shakespeare. Hart chose Einstein as the tenth-most influential human being in all history because of his enormous importance in the world of science, and specifically for his contributions to the

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