On Career Development: Accountability

09.26.13

 

Accountability: “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.”

~ Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman

This quote comes from the book, The Oz Principle, written by the founders of the consulting firm Partners in Leadership (PIL).  I have attended PIL’s leadership seminars where they instruct on accountability and highly recommend their books and training (FYI – I do not get anything for my recommendations on this blog, it’s purely because I believe in what I’m recommending).

I include Accountability in the FACE IT career accelerators because I believe it is a key attribute for professional success.  As a review, the FACE IT career accelerators are Focus, Accountability, Customer Driven, Execution, Innovation, and Teacher.  Similar to all of the FACE IT attributes, accountability is something that can be learned by all.

The key word in the definition above is “ownership.”  Do you really accept ownership for a task or outcome, or are you just giving lip service and going through the motions?  Those who see the issues, take ownership for them, solve the problem, and actually follow through and implement the solution are worth a lot to businesses.  These are the people who achieve results.  These are the people who rise quickly to leadership positions regardless of background or education.

I have sat through many meetings where the participants talk about what they plan to do and what issues the business is facing.  I don’t often see the necessary accountability to See It, Own It, Solve It and Do it.  Have you experienced that?  Do you seem to hear the same non-action discussions in meeting after meeting?  I encourage you to stand apart and demonstrate true accountability as defined above.

After learning from Partners in Leadership, I now can spot those who do not accept accountability.   You hear phrases such as “that’s not my job” or “I didn’t know what to do” or “I was waiting on so and so.”  If you were truly accountable to the basic job all of us have, which is to achieve expected results, you wouldn’t hesitate to work outside of your job description, or hesitate to ask questions to know what to do no matter how dumb you might sound, or hesitate to follow up with the person you are waiting on if you didn’t hear back in a timely manner.

I encourage you to make a choice to truly be accountable.  See the issues.  Take ownership of them.  Solve the issues.  Get the solution implemented.  You don’t have to do this alone, by the way.  It just takes a commitment to this type of leadership.  As you step up to this level of axiom leadership, you will find greater career opportunities come your way.

~ SLE

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