Drawn from “Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey, The Collier Companies Fall 2013 Conference of Champions featured a two day “Speed of Trust” seminar by FranklinCovey
The Principle of Accountability is two-fold: First, “Hold Yourself Accountable” then “Hold Others Accountable.”
Hold Yourself Accountable
Holding yourself accountable is the polar opposite of playing the “victim” card. Standing up, shouldering responsibility and committing to effective recovery efforts makes a powerful statement that engenders trust and creates a resounding ripple effect, encouraging others to do likewise.
Hold Others Accountable
“People respond to accountability — particularly the performers. They want to be held accountable. Performers also want others to be held accountable. They thrive in an environment where they know that everyone is expected to step up and be responsible, where they can trust that slackers and poor performers won’t just slip by.”
– Stephen M.R. Covey, “Speed of Trust”
The extremes of accountability are “over owning” i.e. excessively or even neurotically taking responsibility (occasionally a sign of low self-esteem) or “under owning” (i.e. shrinking one’s responsibility). A misuse of accountability is to use it with the intent to punish, blame or shame (i.e. bully).
Properly done, utilizing the 4 Cores of Trust (Integrity, Good Intent, Competency and Results) and practiced with the principles of stewardship and ownership, Accountability creates an atmosphere of openness and trust.
“No one raindrop takes responsibility but still the flood happens. It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.”
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen R. Covey; 1932-2012
“The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch.” – Michael Armstrong; 1938-