At BusinessDictionary.com, accountability is defined as “the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.
Thanks to politicians and celebrities, and their PR departments, we’ve learned that any act or behavior can be manipulated to deflect blame and make something bad seem good, or at least not so bad. It’s called “spin.” It includes things like twisting facts or words to support you actions, the “not my fault” apology (if anyone was offended…), not using pronouns (mistakes were made vs. I made a mistake) and distort and distract (So what? What difference does it make now? And you’re complaining about me? What about you?)
When you “spin” something that’s happened, the greatest problem isn’t that you weren’t fully honest with others, it’s that you tried to trick your SELF – that part of you who always knows the real story. Your SELF never lets you forget, never lets you get away with anything.
When you blame someone else because you aren’t getting respect, aren’t successful, happy, productive, or any host of things, you probably aren’t doing yourself any favors. You have to be honest with yourself. Sure things can happen, but consider that if you aren’t…
- Respected: you either didn’t demand respect or you didn’t earn it.
- Happy: you gave someone else the power over your happiness.
- Successful: you can still be it – stop whining and learn what you didn’t do right and change it
- Productive: you either didn’t put forth your best effort or you let others distract you from your goals
Remember that the person to whom you have to be unwaveringly accountable is your SELF. You can “spin” the facts anyway you want, but in your heart of hearts you’ll always know the truth. Be honest – at least with yourself – about your mistakes and failures.
Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” A good message and it’s one that has its roots in personal accountability.