January 14, 2017

Accountability is Fake

“We must find a way to keep people more accountable!” screamed the management. “We must hold that athlete accountable for drug misuse!” exclaimed the ruling body. No wonder we have a bad relationship with the word “accountability”.

The last time I relied on someone else to keep myself committed to taking certain actions, I wasn’t able to keep my promise. I wasn’t as committed as I would have been if I had the willingness to accomplish that task.

Accountability is often seen as something passive and external to us. People feel that they need someone else to hold them accountable.

I believe that you can hold a baby, hold a door open, even hold a position in your company, but you can’t hold someone accountable. To be great at what we do, we need to make a commitment to ourselves and not need others to do the same.

Being accountable is making a promise to ourselves to achieve what we need to and do what we mean to. It’s making a personal promise that builds trust, character and self-esteem as well as the esteem that others have for us.

So what can we do to ensure we take the actions and hold ourselves accountable?

Benefits and Costs

Often we fail to consider what we need to do, or sacrifice in order to make our goals happen. As with most goals, there has to be a clear benefit to putting in the effort to making completing this task or achieving this goal. Whilst we do sometimes consider why we want to do something, we rarely consider up front what costs are involved. There is always a cost; whether it’s financial, emotional, spiritual, time or otherwise.

Act on Commitments and not Feelings

This is called the art of Self-Discipline. It is being able to do something whether you feel like it or not. Sometimes you will not feel like getting out of the warm duvet to go for a run in the winter morning.


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