The Accountability Blog

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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Accountable Leadership Doesn’t Play Favorites

A leadership lesson from a two-year old. A while back, we had a birthday party for my two-year-old granddaughter Sophy. As it unfolded, I was privileged to observe a powerful object lesson for leaders. As the birthday girl, Sophy was sitting at the head of the table. She happened to notice that she had one of her grandmothers sitting immediately to her right. When Sophy noticed that, she smiled and reached out to hold her

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I Am A Manager Who Holds People Accountable

“I AM A MANAGER WHO HOLDS PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE” Are you? Do you really want to be? There are two major problems with the sentence that forms the title of this article. Can you spot them both? Look at it in two halves. Here’s the first half: “I am a manager …” Are you really a manager? Are you sure? We manage resources. We manage things: computers, real estate, product inventory. Contrary to popular belief, we

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Making No Decision Is Making A Decision: The Ryanair Debacle

A leader with a commitment to a value like “We stand by our passengers and employees when all hell breaks loose,” or with a commitment to securing the airline’s good reputation, would have jumped all over this event, right away. That leader would have made certain that the whole world knew that both the leader and the airline considered such abuse intolerable, would have rejected racism and discrimination in all its forms, and would have announced that a full internal review of the incident was underway.

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Accountable Leadership Wins A Nobel Prize

So: What this woman is doing is courageous. It is true leadership. And yes, it is accountable leadership. I share Murad’s story with you today not just because it is inspiring on a human level – although it certainly is that – but because I want you to notice that two of the specific commitments Murad has championed, since her escape from hell on earth in 2014, are absolutely critical for accountable leadership in any realm. Those two commitments are: “I tell the truth” and to “It’s all of us.”

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