Webster’s Dictionary defines “accountability” as “the quality or state of being accountable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions.” Notice the adjectives describing accountability in the dictionary: quality, obligation, willingness and responsibility.
A critical component for individual growth is learning how to manage mistakes effectively, to your advantage and to the advantage of others. Below is an accountability spectrum that can help each of us determine our level of accountability, personally and in the workplace.
Level One: Playing the blame game.
Level Two: Realizing that change is needed, identifying the issue, but expecting someone else to come to the rescue.
Level Three: Acknowledging mistakes and failures, confronting them directly and hoping that your willingness to own up to your faults is enough.
Level Four: Identifying and taking responsibility for your mistakes, missed deadlines, and failing to meet standards. Examining the errors, identifying the root cause and what needs to change, developing a strategy to correct the problem and creating a plan that will prevent you from making the same type of mistake.
Level Five: Taking Level Four and running with it! Executing the plan with a clear focus, discipline and extraordinary effort. In Level five you are consciously using your strengths to enhance your performance. You are willing to do what it takes to break down any roadblocks to your success.
Everybody falls short once in a while. We make mistakes. However, if we work for Level Five accountability when we make mistakes or meet roadblocks that can compromise our success personally and professionally, we will end up with more positive outcomes and success. “Don’t whine, don’t complain, and don’t make excuses — you get out there and whatever you’re doing do it to the best of your ability. No one can do more than that.” (John Wooden)
Wishing you peace and wellbeing as you evaluate where you lay on the accountability spectrum when you make mistakes.
PS: Remember to hold the ones you love just a little closer and tighter this week (without expectations).
[image description: two chickens are facing each other, one chicken is saying, You’ve got a problem with avoiding personal accountability. The second chicken responds, ya, and whose fault is that?]