To be accountable is to be able to give count (report) of something you had the control or power to. Accountability is not assigned to you, it is something that you choose to self assign. Same for others, you cannot hold them accountable if they do not commit to or willingly choose to take responsibility for their actions.
When you are accountable, you are taking the responsibility of controlling the situation, executing your power of your decision and then taking responsibility for the results. Self
accountability does not have to be advertised or announced to others. I will give an example to better explain accountability. You are given the task of organizing a party and given the tools needed as well as the expectations. You then engage a group of friends to help you carry on the plan. You explain the plan to your friends, facilitate what they need, and the end result is the party. The party might be a beautiful, fun event, and everyone had a blast. Of course you want to take credit for that! The second possibility is that the party was a disaster.
Looking back, the friend in charge of the cake was unavailable last minute, the one in charge of the food made poor choices, etc, etc, etc. Even though you delegated the task, you are still responsible for the end result. By holding yourself accountable, you will have to
take responsibility not only for your failure to perform, but also for those tasks you delegated
and were not performed correctly. Being accountable does not mean simply accepting fault.
It is taking the time to analyze the situation to determine the cause(s) for the end result. When you isolate the things needing improvement to obtain a better result, you will benefit from learning in the process. That is the main purpose of being accountable; it allows you to learn and improve as needed while giving you the confidence that failure can lead to growth.
You might also hear of “accountability buddy”. This is when you invite a friend/colleague to
remind you of your commitments, especially if not fulfilled. In this case, you are still voluntarily committing to taking responsibility for your actions, but now you engage others to give you a push or call you out if needed.
Now, write down a situation where you were accountable for something that ended poorly.
What are some steps of that process that could be changed/modified to produce better outcomes?