The Accountability Blog

Category: Blog

Accountability Means “It’s All of Us” in the Larger World

The commitment I call “it’s all of us” has a certain distinctive “look and feel” whenever a true leader lives it and leads with it. There are lots of different words leaders can use in demonstrating their accountability to this commitment, and there are lots of different actions they can take, but every time this idea is put into practice as a leadership principle, it Inspires people by sending a simple, powerful message via word

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2 Leaders – 2 Decisions – 1 Accountability

Just recently a high school in St. Louis, Missouri canceled the balance of their football season. They were 7-0 at the time of this decision. Was that accountable? As it turns out, one of the star players had been suspended for one game after being ejected in the final game of last year, his sophomore season. That suspension was supposed to be carried out this year. This suspended player, wearing a different uniform number, using

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The Opioid Crisis: A Failure of Accountable Leadership

The high-profile protests we’ve been seeing against companies involved in schemes to profit from the nation’s massive opioid epidemic — the most visible being the health-care giant Johnson and Johnson — have, I think, been focusing on the wrong end of the problem. They have been leaving out the issue of what accountable leadership actually looks like. Make no mistake. People will be writing for decades to come about the legal and moral failures that

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Boeing, the 737 Max, and the Accountability Challenge

What does accountable leadership, in both the public and private sectors, look like after a major disaster? We are in the process of finding out. Following two fatal crashes of its Boeing 737 Max jets earlier this year, the aviation giant Boeing has settled the first of multiple lawsuits from families who lost loved ones on those flights. According to Reuters, the families involved in the first settlement will each receive $1.2 million, in addition

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Southwest Airlines: What Accountability Looks Like in Action

Southwest Airlines just gave us all a lesson in accountable leadership. You may have seen the news a while back about Boeing having grounded its troubled 737 Max planes, pending certification from the FAA that that aircraft is actually safe to fly. There are plenty of issues about accountability to look at there, but that is another story for another day. Boeing has said it will compensate its customers for losses related to the groundings;

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Corporate Culture: Deeper than Dollars and Cents

This past Labor Day, Delta Airlines made headlines in the business world by sending out a memo informing employees that they would be receiving an unexpected four-percent raise. A couple of years back, American Airlines gave its employees a comparable across-the-board raise. Do such management decisions, on their own, serve as evidence of an accountable corporate culture? I say no. Here is why: It is not just about the money. An accountable corporate culture is

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Accountable Leadership Is Leadership that Creates a Safe Place to Work

The fact that you occupy a leadership position on the organizational chart does not mean you are an accountable leader. Case in point: Katarzyna Richter, director of LOT Polish Airlines. During a flight she took on British Airways, one of her chief competitors, Richter apparently took clandestine photographs of members of the flight crew serving her, and later posted those photos on Facebook with degrading commentaries: “Today,” she wrote in Polish that was quickly translated

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What is the Purpose of a Corporation?

CEOs from the Business Roundtable, including the leaders of huge companies like JPMorgan Chase, Apple, and Amazon, made major headlines recently. They came together with the stated aim of redefining business’s role in society. Overturning decades of business-school orthodoxy that embraced economist Milton Friedman’s pronouncement that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits,” the nearly 200 CEOs signed off on a statement about the “purpose of a corporation.” This statement explicitly acknowledged

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Accountable Corporate Culture: Did You Get the Memo?

How easy is it to believe you have an accountable corporate culture, but be 100% wrong about that? Too easy. Consider the case of easyJet. Do a search on “easyJet values” and you will eventually come across the following two sentences, posted prominently on the low fare airline’s “what we do” web page. We never compromise on safety.  Safety underpins everything we do. That looks good on a web page, and it’s certainly among the

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