Does anyone remember the comic “Family Circus” and the character “Not me”? Little would we know reading that we would hear similar story lines in the workplace.
Every now and then we will experience “Not part of my job description” or “we are not responsible for that”. This has been heard all to often when something needs to be done right away or when a critical issue occurs. It is something that is not conducive to a fully functioning team. When I say team I mean organization.
To shift accountability is like a defenseman on a hockey team not willing to get in deep of the opposing team’s end to help the offence or visa versa. We all have a part to play in ensuring the success of the the organization and with good leadership it should not be an issue to step up and say “my fault”.
To me that seems to be the biggest issue in accepting accountability is saying those two words. When it happens, and it will happen we are human after all, those that are accountable should learn from the issue and work towards it not happening again. With the right leadership others within the team should step in and help make things better.
The reason? John C. Maxwell’s book “The 21 irrefutable Laws of Leadership” law number 5 – The Law of Addition. In very simple terms this law states that everyone helps everyone regardless of the level of authority. Build people up and in turn you build te organization. If I were to look at this law with my Jiu Jitsu path. As I am writing I am one promotion away from achieving my black belt. Years and years of learning, training, competing and sacrifice has gotten me here along with one other thing, helping those around me. See if I just went in throughout my training being selfish and not willing to help the lower belts and to push the higher belts I would still be where I am, belt wise, yet I wouldn’t be fulfilled. My game would be useless against most competitors at my level, since nobody pushed me, take what I taught them and use it against me.
In all honesty, as much of an honour it is to have that black belt around my waist, I can wait. See like most leaders, I am not concerned about titles. I am happy when I get to see others around me succeed. Yes I am a Sr. Director and I use that title to help as many people as I can. All it means is I have the ability to reach more people.
Sorry everyone I got a little off topic and will discuss more about leadership in other posts. For now it is all about accountability. It is something that is needed for an organization to survive. Missing it, even for a small fraction, creates an environment where there is lack of trust and no transparency. Over time it will grow like a cancer and cause issues throughout.
It is a good thing to stand up and show that you are accountable for your actions. It shows true leadership skills that will take you far, while also giving you the feeling of fulfillment