The New York Times bestselling book, The Oz Principle, defines accountability as, “a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.”
Accountability is often viewed as something that happens to us rather than something we take. When we hear the word accountability, it is usually in relation to being reprimanded. In reality, accountability has the power to lift individuals and whole organizations to unparalleled heights. Only acceptance of greater accountability for results can get a person, a team, or an organization back on the path to success. Accountability is the backbone of any successful organization.
For companies that have remote workforces, accountability is vital to achieving results. Having a team who can work from home and still stay productive, optimistic, and deliver on expectations is what will drive organizations to success.
When facing disruption, companies who have an accountable workforce are the ones that innovate through the uncertainty instead of crumbling from confusion. Their employees acknowledge the reality of their situation, take accountability over the actions they have control over, ask “What else can I do?” to achieve results and execute on new solutions. They know that being accountable is a skill that can be developed instead of a personality trait.
Inspire yourself to take accountability for reaching results with these 14 quotes from The Oz Principle:
1. “Accountability begins, without exception, with clearly defining the results you want and need to achieve.”
2. “Acknowledge and accept reality as the first step toward taking accountability.”
3. “Although it can cause a great deal of pain and embarrassment at times, honest input helps create the accurate picture of reality that lies at the core of accountability.”
4. “When you combine the notion of accountability with the objective of accomplishing better results, you create an empowering and guiding beacon for both personal and organizational activity.”
5. “A fear of failure can create a terrible burden that makes taking the final step to accountability virtually impossible.”
6. “If you hope to create accountability in your own organization, you must also provide a model others can emulate. You yourself must remain accountable for the consequences that flow from all your decisions and actions.”
7. “The process of inspiring accountability in others takes time. It doesn’t happen as a result of some singular event.”
8. “Before you can implement an accountability program in your organization, you must determine how people currently define and practice accountability. You must help people feel empowered by the concept of accountability, not trapped by it.”
9. “Only when everyone embraces the same positive perspective of accountability can the entire organization maximize its effectiveness at getting results.”
10. “In our experience, accountable people constantly seek feedback from a wide range of associates, be their friends, family, business partners, consultants, or other advisers.”
11. “No one can or should try to force another person to be more effective, more righteous, more knowledgeable, more productive, friendlier, braver, more trustworthy, or in any other way more politically or socially correct. Coach them, encourage them, teach them, give them feedback, admonish them, love them, and lead them, but don’t try to coerce them.”
12. “Both employees and senior management must accept the fact that feedback creates accountability. Employees must overcome the fear of risk and tell inquiring senior managers what they really need to hear.”
13. “Most people respond well to honest feedback, particularly when it comes from a coach and not an accuser, who offers it within the context of results, and accompanies it with an invitation to provide similarly candid feedback.”
14. “Remember, only when you assume full accountability for your thoughts, feelings, actions, and results can you direct your own destiny; otherwise someone or something else will.”
Practicing accountability is made easier with proper leadership, feedback, and simple models to follow–all of which can be found in The Oz Principle. Accountability is a process: to achieve your desired outcomes, leaders need to remember that accountability isn’t just your burden. When you stop saying “I” and start saying “we,” the path towards accountability becomes far easier to travel and connects dispersed workforces.
Discover insights into how you can harness positive accountability for yourself and your team during our free live online series, Leading During Uncertainty.