My last column addressed the importance of accountability. Whether you are a student in the classroom, a member of team, or an employee in a business, being accountable to yourself and your team is an important characteristic for success.
Lenny Wilkens, former NBA coach and Hall of Fame inductee, said: “The most important quality I look for in a player is accountability. You’ve got to be accountable for who you are. It’s too easy to blame things on someone else.”
Although accountability is an important attribute, many people view it in a negative context because it is something people are only concerned about when performance wanes, problems develop or expected results are not achieved.
In an article about “How to Create a Culture of Accountability,” Roger Connors and Tom Smith provide a more positive definition of accountability: "A personal choice to rise above one's circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results—to See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It."
They cite the importance of having a growth mindset that includes continually asking, "What else can I do to rise above my circumstances and achieve the results I desire?" A key to this approach is defining those desired results. By articulating those results, also known as goals, to yourself and others, they become real.
Everyone knows what you are working for and can possibly contribute to your success, but it is one thing to articulate your goals; it is another to develop strategies to achieve results. This approach embraces the concept of taking ownership and responsibility for your personal actions to produce desired results.
This view of accountability recognizes that people can gain more from a proactive posture than from a reactive one. When you assume accountability for your thoughts, feelings, actions, and results, you direct your own destiny. If you don’t, someone or something else will. Your success in any activity is based on the actions you take – so “See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It."