Merriam Webster defines as follows:
Definition of accountability
: the quality or state of being accountable especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
In business, politics, and our personal relationships, accountability is ever present. We experience many situations where it is visible in the actions of others or unfortunately lacking. When someone delivers on a promise or commitment, they are being accountable. In these cases we come away with a very positive feeling about the person who delivers.
In business and politics accountability is becoming more and more rare. Companies who promise to deliver high quality products or services only to fail to meet that expectation lack accountability. Political leaders who promise the world when they want your vote, only to serve themselves when in office, lack accountability. Across our country today, we have learned to expect a lack of accountability across many areas of Business and Politics.
When we as customers of a business or as constituents of our political leaders accept less than accountable behavior, we are not being accountable. We are accepting less than we should. Standing up for ourselves and demanding the best product or services should be the norm. Unfortunately, it is anything but the normal approach today.
Those who are not accountable rely on excuses and blame to explain away their performance. They use the Victim mentality to deflect accountability. It was someone’s fault or they were prevented from achieving the desired outcome because of some force that is beyond their control. We have heard all the excuses and reasons.
We should strive everyday to hold ourselves accountable first. If we are not responsible or accountable to ourselves first, how can we possibly hold others to a standard of accountability. Challenge yourself. Track your performance with a key measure, the Say/Do Ratio. The Say/Do ratio is a simple measure of the amount of times you Say you’re going to do something, divided by the amount of times you actually Do what you say you would. If you can honestly say your Say/Do ratio is 100%, then you are a very accountable person. If not, step up to the challenge of improving your performance.
Being an accountable person in business, politics, relationships, or your community will deliver positive results. Avoid the Victim mentality and be Accountable. You will feel better about yourself and others if you do.