Accountability, the most sought after and possibly least understood quality of any team or organization. It’s often associated with blame. I mean, think about it. How many times have you said or heard who’s accountable? Now, here’s the interesting thing. Accountability cannot be trained and it cannot be mandated. It’s a personal choice about how we live our lives. It’s a choice we make to move from a disempowered mentality to an accountable one.
The Fierce definition of accountability is a desire to take responsibility for results. It’s a bias towards solution and action. It’s an attitude, a personal, private, non-negotiable choice about how to live your life. Now, here’s the bottom line. Our context determines our results. We talk about this in foundations and in our accountability conversations model. And we facilitators will often say, I’m not going to ask you to justify your context because I know you can.
For example, if you feel the cards are stacked against you, I know you’ll be able to prove yourself right about that, no doubt. But the more important question that we should ask ourselves and others is, are you getting the results you want? And if not, how might you expand your context to get those results? When we’re not aware of our context and the way it impacts our results, we can easily fall into a disempowered mindset.
In other words, we may feel that the cards are stacked against us. We see other people as the problem. We see the situation as the problem. We see the circumstances as the problem. It’s not our fault and it’s out of our control. And guess what? We’re probably right about a lot of that. Now as leaders. We need to model accountability for others around us since it can’t be trained and can’t be mandated. Everyone around us is observing us and watching how we as leaders deal with challenges and adversity. So in situations where we feel the cards are stacked against us, or when we’re approached by others who feel that way, the most significant question we can ask ourselves and others is, given that all these things are true, what can I do to get a different result? When we look at our circumstances, when we look at our situations, the places where we feel the cards are stacked against us, we need to recognize that we may not have a choice about any of these things. We do, however, have a choice about our context. I’ll never forget during the pandemic, when the pandemic first hit, I was having to have that conversation with myself constantly to shift my context.
It was not easy for me to be isolated, distanced, socially distanced and working from home. So I constantly use this conversation with myself, our mineral rights conversation, to change my context, to get a different result. We at Fierce as a company had to do the same thing when the pandemic hit. So with accountability, I consciously make the switch from a disempowered mentality or this is happening to me and I move to an empowered, accountable mentality or mindset that sounds more like if it is to be, it’s up to me.
So instead of asking why, I ask what? So when you’re facing adversity or challenges and you feel like the cards are stacked against you, have the mineral rights conversation with yourself and ask yourself, given the current reality, what can I do to move this in a different direction? What can I do to get a different result? What can I learn here? What can I? How can I bring meaning to this situation? And when you have this conversation with yourself, meet yourself with empathy and compassion while you proactively change your outlook and thus your results. This is true accountability in a nutshell.