The Accountability Blog

Is It Really an Emergency? Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of De-escalation and the Lack of Accountability

When I was a kid, there was only one television in the house. This was long before the advent of technology that allowed you to record one show while you were watching another. If there was a program on that my brother wanted to watch, and it conflicted with one that I wanted to watch, someone had to win and someone had to lose. There was no accountability to each other. We each hated losing.

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The Truth Matters

Many people make the mistake of assuming that a commitment to truth simply means promising to tell the truth to other people. It is far more important to be able to tell yourself the truth. Telling yourself the truth must come first. If you can’t be honest to yourself, you can’t be honest to someone else. Telling yourself the truth isn’t something you do once and consider complete. It’s an ongoing process, something you commit

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Accountability Is Not Just For The Workplace

I spend a lot of time talking to teams and leaders about what accountability looks like on the organizational level – in the workplace. But it’s just as important to take a close look at accountability in our relationships with people outside of the workplace. In fact, I believe true accountability always starts at the level of the individual, not the level of the organization. Let me share an example of what accountability on the

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Holocaust Remembrance Needs More Than A Day

This weekend, the world was reminded of the horrific campaign of industrialized genocide unleashed by the Nazi regime against Jews, gays, the disabled, and other persecuted minorities. Holocaust Remembrance Day was officially January 27. It is right and fitting that the world pause once a year and set aside this day for remembrance. Yet there was a news story I came across that convinced me that I had an obligation to write a post about

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The One Big Takeaway From The Covington/Lincoln Memorial Social Media Meltdown

By now there’s a very good chance you’ve already heard something intense, partisan, and angry about the protests that happened near the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Martin Luther King Day. But on the off chance you’ve somehow missed the commotion, here’s a brief rundown. Social media platforms went crazy over viral videos showing encounters between a Native American elder and a group of boys from Covington Catholic High School, who were in Washington

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Accountability Is Impossible Without The Truth

For a leader, there is no such thing as “kind of” telling the truth. If you are a leader, you are either fulfilling your personal commitment to tell someone who is counting on you the truth, or you aren’t fulfilling that commitment. If you aren’t, then accountability within the relationship and the organization you lead is impossible, because you’ve already failed to be accountable to your team coming out of the gate. That’s the high

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Uber: The Employees Speak

There is one thing about Uber that everyone agrees on. The global ride-sharing service that transformed the way people get around in major metropolitan areas has a remarkable capacity make news. The problem is, not all of the headlines it generates are good. For every positive news item — securing an astonishing 69% of the US market, say, or launching a new service providing wheelchair-accessible vehicles, or positioning itself for what looks to be one

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A Question For The New Year

One of the questions I ask leaders — a question that sometimes makes them a little uncomfortable — is a fairly simple, direct one: Do you tell your people the truth? It’s a deeply relevant question, I think, as we approach the New Year. Forget, for a moment, whether you feel your people tell you the truth, or how you feel about it on those occasions when you can prove that they don’t. (That’s actually

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Johnson & Johnson’s Four-Fold Failure Of Accountability

Word broke recently of what may be one of the most shameful corporate cover-ups in the history of American business. Reuters reported that pharmaceutical and consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson had known, as early as 1971, about the presence of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in its iconic baby powder product. This disclosure quickly prompted comparisons with similar, devastating, revelations in various consumer-products liability cases, such as those filed against the major tobacco companies. According

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Accountability Is Impossible Without The Truth

For a leader, there is no such thing as “kind of” telling the truth. If you are a leader, you are either fulfilling your personal commitment to tell someone who is counting on you the truth, or you aren’t fulfilling that commitment. If you aren’t, then accountability within the relationship and the organization you lead is impossible, because you’ve already failed to be accountable to your team coming out of the gate. That’s the high

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