Accountability in the News

I’ve been writing, consulting, and coaching on accountability for a long time, and it’s difficult to ignore examples in the news to compare and contrast leaders who are accountable and those who are not. Blaming others, forgetfulness, changing explanations, excuses, refusals to testify or respond to questions, spin, distractions, and long stories are characteristics of a lack of accountability. Most organizations I know have little tolerance for this kind of behavior. Accountability is taking full responsibility for actions and results. Eisenhower, for example, on the eve of D-Day wrote a letter in case the invasion was unsuccessful in which he took full responsibility for the failure. Thankfully, he didn’t have to issue that letter, but it demonstrates accountability. Woody Allen once said that the role of the leader is to show people how to behave. He had a good point.

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