The Accountability Blog

Tag: accountability

Accountable Leadership…Closing The Values Gap

I received a question recently from someone online, a question that gave me pause. He wanted my insights on how he could find the right employer in his chosen field, an organization driven by strong values. This is a very important issue, one that is all the more essential to consider closely because, as this man pointed out, most of the companies in his industry seemed to lack a coherent guiding set of values. Indeed,

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The Principle of Accountability™

Have you ever tried to “hold someone accountable”– and found that the person’s performance got worse instead of better? The Principle of Accountability makes holding someone accountable impossible. Lots of leaders have had this experience. Before we start talking about “holding people accountable,” a tactic that usually backfires, maybe we need to ask ourselves a more fundamental question: What does that word “accountability” really mean? Accountability, very simply, means keeping your commitments to people. Period.

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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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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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A Lesson From Springsteen about Trust

One of the most common complaints I hear from leaders has to do with the team’s supposed inability to accept their responsibility to tell the truth. Here’s how this often plays out. There’s some kind of problem, some kind of oversight, some kind of challenge, and the leader wants to get to the bottom of it – – as a prosecutor. The word goes out: Who authorized this? And the inquisition is on. For some

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Spring Training Lesson: Accountable Leadership Means the Rookie Has a Voice

When I talk about accountability, a lot of leaders assume I’m talking about the team’s accountability to the leader. Actually, the whole process starts with the leader’s accountability and their ability to follow through on commitments to the team. One of the most important of those commitments is the leader’s commitment to make sure everyone feels safe in sharing insights and opinions…whether that’s someone who’s been with your organization for years, or someone who just

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What Is Accountability?

Everything we have been told about accountability is wrong. Accountability is not a way of doing. Accountability is a way of thinking. Specifically, it’s how we think about people.

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