Archives For Accountability

The Extinction of Right & Wrong

August 30, 2010

Whatever happened to right and wrong?

Lack of effort to pay attention in meetings or read emails gets filed under miscommunication.

Someone doesn’t do their job and it’s because of the lack of buy-in or lack of engagement.

No one fails anymore they lack training.

What would happen to the work place if we brought back insubordination, accountability and personal integrity?

4 Temptations of Leadership

July 19, 2010

Pride

Don’t start believing the hype.  We live in a culture of hero worship. The great leaders we’ve become to idolize in our American History have been morphed into invincible men and women without weaknesses. However, you can study any leader and discover their weaknesses.  Athletes and performers are instant role models but yet some exhibit moral failures out of the spotlight. Maintain a balance perspective of your accomplishments.  It is wise to keep your potential in your windshield and weaknesses in your rear view mirror as you drive along the journey of success.

Complacency

Ever watch shows on music channels like “One Hit Wonders of the ‘80s”? I’ve witness many “one hit” wonders on the job ride that one success to a height only to fall miserably.  I believe this is a direct result of the hero worship in our culture. Many of our historical heroes are known for one major success. Look closer at them; there was a consistency prior to that huge success.  If you and your team experience success, strive for consistency.

Exemption

This is the second cousin of pride and many leaders begin to feel exempt from the need for accountability.  “I did, therefore I know” becomes a mindset. But nobody succeeds alone. Become an insatiable learner and surround yourself with people who know and do more than you.

Lust

Success can also birth the need for more wins.  If you get a rush out of the accolades and pats on the backs, be careful.  Success becomes like a drug addiction; you’ll do anything to get more.  When your values get compromised and you strive for success at the expense of your people, you have crossed a line. Strive for balance when it comes to pursuing your goals. Make sure your identity is not in your accomplishments but in your values.

What other temptations do Leaders deal with?

On Accountability

September 14, 2009

I wrote a post on the importance of having and how to choose people for your inner circle.  Accountability is a benefit of having an inner circle.  What is accountability? There’s personal accountability which is accepting responsibility for your life and decisions you make. Michael Hyatt wrote an excellent post on Leadership and Accountability in regards to this topic.

Then there’s living a life of accountability, where others are holding you responsible for your actions. At work, it is your manager.  You will have different circles of accountability partners. Your golf partners may not be able to hold you accountable for goals you have in your career. But they can hold you accountable to goals you’ve set with your golf game.

Why do we need accountability? There are 3 reasons for accountability:

  1. Accountability motivates you – knowing someone will be checking up on you will force you to follow through.
  2. Accountability makes you better – since results will be checked by another person, you want to show your best side.
  3. Accountability challenges you to grow – another person critiquing your work gives you a different perspective. Another set of eyes on areas in your life allows you to fill in your blind spots.

There are 3 people in my life that I hold my entire life accountable to.  Then with different goals I have, I have another set of accountability partners. It’s great when you find accountability partners in areas you are trying to grow. Remember the relationship is reciprocal; be willing to hold someone else accountable.

Choosing Your Inner Circle

July 21, 2009

Yesterday Michael Hyatt posted “One Stupid Decision Away” concerning Steve McNair and the choices we make. It was a thoughtful post and I highly encourage you to read it. One point Michael makes is about the need to “build a support system of family and friends who will care enough to challenge us when we veer off course.” Those words brought an overwhelming sense of gratefulness to the people I have befriended throughout the years. Accountability is the best friend anybody can have and yet most people resist it as if they lose their freedom in doing so.circle of friends

I’ve kept an inner circle – people whom I maintain a high level of transparency and vulnerability with. The inner circle is small. These are the people I allow to speak into every area of my life and I heed their words seriously. I hold my life accountable to them. I don’t always do what they say, but they may make me slow down and think before acting. These are relationships I bring all of me to the table not just parts of me. They care about me and I care about them.

An inner circle relationship is different than a mentoring relationship. Mentors are temporary and usually involve a specific area in life: work, marriage, hobby or activity. You can go to them for advice, but it’s not necessarily reciprocated. These relationships you only bring parts of you to the table. You may have people at work you can go to for work advice, or a friend who’s a great golfer to help with your back swing. But you wouldn’t necessarily go to them if you were having personal issues. If your mentor decides to walk away, you can go find another one. An inner circle member walking away causes a loss that is felt deeply felt.

Here are some guidelines in choosing an inner circle:

  • Choose people bound by the same moral code you operate from. Know who you are and make sure you aren’t compromising your integrity.
  • Recognize the proper ‘space’ in your relationships. Some relationships are like planetary orbits; certain times of your lives you may be closer, other times further apart. It’s ok!
  • Choose people with different interests than you. I’m an engineer by trade, but I have no other engineers in my inner circle. My friends are diverse backgrounds, and I’m not speaking in terms of race but education, interests, sex, age and marital status. There is always something in common because I or they have been open to learn new things.
  • Don’t grandfather your family into your inner circle just because they are family. I have too often seen a person’s life devastated by the wishes and desires of overbearing relatives. (This does not apply to your spouse.)
  • Look for people who have vision and purpose in their lives. They may not have every detail mapped out but they are aiming at a dream.

Maintaining the inner circle is a post for another day. But always show gratitude to those in your inner circle.