Did you know that the ancient Romans had a tradition that whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch they would assume complete accountability for their work by standing underneath the arch as the capstone was put into place! That is a profound way of taking accountability!
This word has been on my mind a lot over the past few weeks. In reflecting on why, I came up with a few reasons:
- Personal Accountability: It is June! Half way point of the year. How am I doing regarding the goals I set for myself in January?
- Professional Accountability: Am I performing in such a way that I am exceeding expectations of my internal customers? My boss? Myself?
- Problems in both areas: As I have stopped to reflect on those questions, I have come to realize that there glaring examples of where accountability is lacking. Not just with me, but in many areas. It seems to be the one thing that is not addressed when a discussion takes place around why something is not going as planned.
The question I ask myself is, “Jeff… are you playing the victim here or are you acknowledging your reality and being accountable to your results?”
SIDEBAR: Do any of you talk to yourself like this?
I had an exchange with a co-worker yesterday that stopped me dead in my tracks. She called me to provide some legitimate feedback and some recommendations on how something could be better going forward. Before I realized what I was doing, I was blaming others and creating excuses for why it was how it was…
It wasn’t until I hung up the phone and reflected on the conversation that I realized what I had done. I immediately shot her an email with a full apology, thanking her for her feedback and being grateful for the relationship being strong enough that she could give me that feedback. It only makes me better!
Anyways – I challenge you to take some time and understand what accountability truly means. It is not a negative thing. It is something that will give your life freedom to grow and be better in all things.
Accountability is simply giving an account of what you have done, or not done, and taking responsibility for it. Nothing to be afraid of!