Accountability really is the highest form of leadership. In “The 100,” his fascinating survey ranking the most influential human beings ever to walk the earth, author Michael Hart placed Albert Einstein at #10, well ahead of such figures as Julius Caesar, Martin Luther, and William Shakespeare. Hart chose Einstein as the tenth-most influential human being in all history because of his enormous importance in the world of science, and specifically for his contributions to the
The Accountability Blog
Committing to the success of others around you builds relationships and accountability. Your example of accountability will inspire accountability in others.
Here are some thoughts on accountability inspired by the attack on the Capitol yesterday. Accountable leaders in any field of endeavor, including politics, inevitably face questions of character. Our character is demonstrated by our decisions and our deeds over the long term, not by the words we throw out in the heat of the moment so we can look good when the cameras are rolling. Character, in other words, is a long-term play, it is
So: What makes the customer experience positive? A culture by design. And what makes that culture by design an accountable culture? Keeping commitments to people. One of the most critical of those commitments is the commitment to live the values. That has to start at the top.
Accountability and responsibility are two very different things. Accountability is keeping your commitments to people. Responsibility is taking on a certain task. The difference is subtle and instructive, and it connects to the vitally important concept of commitment. There are tactical commitments, for which people take on responsibility, and which build productivity (that is what leaders want). And there are also relational commitments, which support relationships and build accountability (that is what leaders need).
What is the first and most important commitment of accountable leaders? What do true Masters of Accountability always do? I ask this question often, and I get a wide variety of responses. It surprises me how rarely people share the answer I am looking for: Accountable leaders are committed to developing their team members to their fullest potential.
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free?
I was inspired recently by an article in Business Insider that profiled Peggy Cherng, one of the founders (with her husband Andrew) of the successful Panda Express restaurant chain. The article highlighted Cherng’s commitment to philanthropy–which I prefer to call by its more accessible name, “giving.” Giving is an essential part of accountable leadership, for the simple reason that it is part of the commitment that all accountable leaders make to develop and follow a
NOTE: I set up several calls recently with Sheriff Joel Richardson, a man I respect immensely, to discuss the difficult issues facing today’s law enforcement organizations. Joel leads the Randall County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department, which includes part of the city of Amarillo; he served for eight and a half years as the presiding officer for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Joel presents, in my view, a perfect example of what accountable leadership in law