Raising your head above the parapet

Raising your head above the parapet

The importance of accountability and, training yourself to face both the ramifications of mishaps, yet also ensuring that you celebrate the lessons learnt that come from it.

Chances are, there’s one person in your life who never fails to blame their mishaps and misfortunes on someone else. Whether they are blatantly the ones responsible for their situation, found themselves in a bit of an ‘it takes two to tango’ scenario or are in fact the innocent party for the most pasrt, this person simply refuses to acknowledge that to some extent, their individual actions did play a role in manifesting their less than ideal situation.

So what exactly is accountability, and why does it matter? In a nutshell, accountability refers to the behaviour of voluntarily answering for your actions, and the results they trigger.

Accountability and YOU

From a self-growth and empowerment perspective, failing to step up and take accountability is a major faux pas. Psychologists and self-help experts alike pinpoint personal accountability as a key ‘habit for wellbeing,’ and involves continually choosing to take responsibility and ownership of your life, and your actions. 

Published though leader Linda Galindo sums it up perfectly when she muses…

“Once upon a time, I was the Queen of Victims, with a shiny scepter, a sparkling crown and a plush velvet robe, walking up and down the runway of “Poor Me.” Life didn’t work for me. My boss was a jerk. My parents didn’t encourage me. My husband was controlling. I got divorced. I complained and whined.

One day, a good and smart friend put a stunningly quick stop to it by asking me a revealing question that stung me like a slap in the face.

“Have you ever noticed that all the bad things you complain about happened when you were in the room? Have you ever considered that you might have something to do with your own rotten luck?”

I hadn’t.”

Basically, she’s explaining that once you realise you do play a role in the outcomes your experience, you empower yourself with the perception to make positive change.

Accountability in a corporate context

Every leader wants to get more from their team, and accountability is a keynote part of facilitating peak performance. Rather than blame an individual employee for their lack of sales, an accountable manager would welcome some of the criticism themselves, and use this as a springboard or reviewing their own performance as a team leader.

That said, creating a culture of corporate accountability also calls on employees to answer for their own actions, and results. It encourages superlative productivity, keeps motivation high, and gives employees a tangible reason to perform. In the same way, accountable employees are proactive in their approach to work. For example, if a boss assigns an employee a project and it’s taking longer than expected to finish, an accountable employee wouldn’t wait to be chased up. Instead, they would proactively approach the boss, explain the reasons for the delay, and do everything in their power to fast-track the project to the finish line.

The bottom line? Accountable employees are far more valuable than their unaccountable counterparts. For businesses, attitudes of accountability save time and money, promote trust and integrity, and help to build strong, cohesive teams.

Taking accountability can be humbling, but ultimately it unlocks new insights and attitudes that can used to power meaningful change within a host of scenarios. From personal growth to corporate development, accountability is a commanding habit that everyone should attempt to initiate.