On Accountability

Accountability has a pivotal role in our culture and society. Today, in our modern and complex life, it is important for you to realize that you and only you, you are accountable for your actions or omissions. Moreover, you have to realize that you are responsible for the sum of all your actions (small or large, intended or unintended) in your course of life. It is an attitude in life that is not easily implemented. But worth the effort for its acquirement!

Personal Accountability

A Small Story About Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody

First of all, I’d like to share with you, a small story. It is about personal responsibility and accountability and how important are these qualities (and attributes) to our everyday life. This story is a:

story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. A job had to be done and Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, Nobody did it. Somebody got mad about that, because it was Everybody s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it and that Somebody would do it. Nobody realized that Everybody thought Somebody would do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. (from: I Have a Story to Tell)

What Accountability Is?

Accountability, in simple terms, is:

the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable (from accountability)

These actions, include, but are not limited, to your most internal features of your character such as your:

  • Vision, scope, and objectives of your life,
  • Goals,
  • Dreams,
  • Actions, selections, and choices you have made and keep on making,
  • Responsibilities you assume, defer or omit,
  • Habits you set, develop, sustain or remove from your life,
  • Fitness & Health,
  • Work and career,
  • Mental and personal development,
  • Education and training,
  • Moral composition and your life principles,
  • Lifestyle,
  • Attitude,
  • Character and personality,
  • Financial and economic security,
  • Family and relationships,
  • Do’s and don’ts,
  • Time,
  • Energy,
  • Resources,
  • Victories and losses,
  • Errors blame and problems you create (to yourself and other people!),
  • <…>

the catalog can be quite long …, but I think you get the picture!

Some People!

Most people do not realize how accountable are for their life and give (gladly, I might add!) the ownership of their actions and life to a hazy cloud of whims, moods, bad temper, etc. of other people (or even of themselves). Usually, they blame the luck, the other people, the conditions, the weather, the night before, … , constantly!

They do exactly that. The more the things they have to deal with, the more blame everything and anything outside themselves. You can spot them easily. Usually are those they blame for almost everything in their life, the life of others, or the life in general.

Their mantra in life is that “someone else is to blame for that” and they consume their time to either find “HIM/HER/IT” (the blamer!) or construct the perfect excuse for not being their fault (whatever happens first). Losing thus the ownership of everything (good or bad thing!) happens to their life. In essence, they living their life as bystanders.

But most of the time, success depends on our attitude on personal accountability.

What Personal Accountability Needs to Grow Up

Personal accountability (and responsibility) usually needs:

  • Vision,
  • Courage to overcome your limitations,
  • Character development,
  • Mental, physical and moral discipline towards your personal goals,
  • Responsibility and personal accountability (i.e. to assume the ownership for everything happens in your life, even if, most of the time, this is not exactly right!),
  • Self – realization of your strengths (and more importantly of your weaknesses),
  • Respectance of your limits and that of the other people,
  • Honestly, a straight forward state of doing things and personal integrity,
  • Error acknowledgment and admitting of errors to other people,
  • Discipline and good habits to build and sustain the attitude towards personal accountability,
  • Confidence and faith in yourself that you can cope with the situations you have to deal with,
  • Constant monitoring of your progress, review, and amendment if necessary of your life plan!

Why Should You Exercise Personal Accountability?

The benefits from an attitude as that are many (and constant, something it is very beneficiary for the character development). Include:

  • Effective stress and time management,
  • Better focus,
  • Enhanced productivity in your daily life,
  • Less dependence on random factors,
  • Readiness for action,
  • Increased trust and respect to yourself and by other people,
  • Cultivation of better (and healthier) personal and professional habits,
  • Fewer complaints and small talks,
  • Cultivation and injection of pro-activity features and mental states in your everyday activities,
  • Commitment in action and in “Getting Things Done“(!),
  • Direct ownership of personal resources, victories, errors, etc,
  • Enhance respect for the others and for their needs and requirements,
  • Better communication and improved relationships with other people either in business or personal level,
  • An intended, conscious, responsible and disciplined attitude towards life!

Question: Do you believe that personal accountability can benefit you in your life? Do you find personal accountability as a completely unnecessary burden in everyone’s life? Do you find personal accountability as a positive asset in everyone’s toolkit or not? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    Takis Athanassiou is an IT Consultant, Blogger, Trainer & Writer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, e-Learning and social media. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, add him in Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.