Ensuring Accountability

The second discovery along the EQ spectrum is ensuring accountability.  To ensure the type of accountability needed to execute successfully, we should focus both on how accountable we ourselves are, and on inviting accountability from others. 

Defining Accountability

To be accountable is to answer for specific actions or decisions. Accountability is assuming personal responsibility for ensuring the execution of a specific deliverable within a specific timeframe.

The Oz Principle defines accountability as

“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.” 

Hannah & Dr. Bob discuss accountability


Benefits of Accountability

Embracing accountability allows us to unlock our highest self and informs our resilience. When we hold ourselves accountable first, and invite accountability from our coworkers, clients and leaders, we gain agency. 

Agency, akin to psychological ownership, is what causes us to make independent choices and act on our own free will. It allows us to take control of our own actions.

Highly accountable people

  • Enhance the trust between themselves and others
  • Effectively plan and allocate resources
  • Increase loyalty within work teams, families, and communities 
  • Enhance the confidence of clients and customers
  • Reaffirm relationships


The Bottom Line

Accountability fuels the trust that sustains long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. 

Tactics to Ensure Accountability

  • Focus on purpose: remind ourselves and the team WHY we are doing this.
  • Identify impact: when we recognize and honor the impact of our actions on others, we are more likely to follow through on our commitments.
  • Exhibit extreme ownership: elevate and honor commitments. We can only control our controllables – our own actions and responses.
  • Avoid the blame game: finger-pointing, avoidance, denial, and covering our backside (CYA), only serve to advertise our lack of accountability. 
  • Ask, don’t tell: to induce insight and promote agency for others, ask questions rather than tell people what to do or how they failed – seek first to understand the situation fully, then ask for commitments.
  • Default to action: do not “wait and see.” Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.


Challenge Question

Going forward, what are some actions you can take to invite greater accountability from yourself, from your colleagues, and from your customers?



NEXT: Showing Courage

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