We hear it all the time. “I want my kids to be more accountable.” “I wish my people would be more accountable.” “They should be more accountable.” We tend to focus on our need for the people around us to be accountable. The truth is that only when we choose to be accountable will the people in our personal and professional lives be accountable.
All too often we want in others what we don’t have in ourselves. Accountability is no different.
Business executives looking for a competitive advantage today are, more and more, wanting their people to be accountable. The problem is that for some time now society has misunderstood what accountability really is.
Accountability is not a business tool, technique or tactic. Accountability cannot be mandated, dictated or stipulated. Accountability is something that happens on a very visceral level as people learn to really value people and as relationships are built.
Someone who lives with moral excellence and righteousness understands the order of life. Growing up I heard over and over from my father, “Patience is a virtue. I believe accountability is a virtue. Accountability is keeping your commitments to people. People are attracted to people who are honest, transparent and who care for other people. People are attracted to people who are accountable.
Politicians are not willing to stand up for what they believe and voted on. The truth is that we want political leaders who will say what they believe and then stay the course. We want to support someone who is resolute in what they believe. We want to back someone who is accountable and keeps their commitments to themselves and the people they serve.
According to the recent news reports, RJ Reynolds lied about how addictive and harmful smoking cigarettes are and General Motors lied about the quality of their automobiles. Companies are continuously on record for lying about the benefits of their products. Where does it stop?
When a company lies they are not being accountable to the public, their employees or their investors. At some point society must send a message.
How many times have we heard of someone in a politician’s office doing something wrong and the politician, the leader, saying he or she had no knowledge of the wrongdoing? Maybe it was an office that was broken into in an attempt to steal information from an adversary, or maybe it was just a lane closing on a bridge to cause traffic in a community where the local mayor didn’t support the governor. The leader tries to get off by claiming ignorance. Slick move, but I don’t think it holds water.