Be Accountable

This topic of accountability goes far and deep. It is so important that we dedicated an hour to it on the January 29th Business Matters program.I offer you a very personal view of why I propose that accepting accountability for everything in your life may be the most important thing you can do.

We are a country where we blame others when things don’t go our way. We are clearly the most litigious country in the world with the highest per capita number of lawyers anywhere. I don’t think any of us believes that we have a culture that is more devious or more careless than the rest of the world. So why so many lawyers.

I know my thoughts may seem simplistic, and I still challenge you to consider the consequence of this situation. I suspect we have so many lawyers because we are afraid to be accountable.

When something doesn’t work out the way that we expect, often our first response is to find someone to blame. If I have a car accident, our first response is often, “what is wrong with the other driver, what is wrong with the maintenance of the streets, what is wrong with the way the manufacturing of the car”. The list goes on and on.

What would happen if the first question when something doesn’t work is, “what is my accountability?” This simple questions doesn’t absolve others from being accountable – I’ll address that in a minute. Let’s just stay with you.

If I start considering this question, “what is my accountability?” several possibilities appear. The first is that I can learn from the situation. In the case of the automobile accident, maybe I was also distracted, or maybe I was driving faster than necessary. The second outcome is a sense of having more control over my life. One of the big worries in this country is people feeling that they have lost control over what’s important in their lives. Well here’s a way to get that feeling back.

Let me address the issue of the accountability of others. I believe that we are all accountable for the situations we experience. That means that you are accountable and I am accountable. With this approach, we start honestly finding out how we both contributed to a situation. Then we can work together to create the kinds of outcomes we both would like to have.

On the January 29th Business Matters program, we found that businesses that create cultures of more accountability have improved relationships with their customers, their shareholders and themselves. Not only that, they are more profitable.

Why not extend this commitment to accountability to your local community or your state or this country. Sure there will moments when someone else doesn’t accept accountability and want to blame others, maybe even you. Don’t let that stop you. This accountability thing works. Why not give it a try?

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Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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