In an interview this past week Lance Armstrong said if he had a chance to do things over, he’d probably dope again if he was racing at a time when cheating “was completely and totally pervasive.” In other words, if someone else is cheating he would cheat also. So cheating is okay.
It is impossible to be accountable when we do not know what we believe. Cheating is not right. It never is. It’s not right if you are the only one or even if everyone else cheats. We can try to rationalize our actions based on the bad decisions other people make, but in the end, we have to be responsible for our decisions.
The accountable person fully knows what they believe. What they believe is based on respecting the rights of others, not stepping on those rights. Now comes the hard part, doing and taking action that aligns with those great beliefs. This is where so many of us go wrong. It is easy to say we believe one thing and then go do something else. The truly accountable person is willing to stand up for their beliefs even when it is not popular or it means personal loss. Right is always right. There is never a time you can justify wrong into right. Winning does not justify anything other then hard work and dedication.
Accountability can be learned but not when we make the same bad decisions and ignore the lessons of our past. When we are truly accountable, our actions will align with our words, we will value other people and we will keep our commitments to those people.