Accountability, according to Merriam-Webster, is “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” In the workplace, Accountability is more than being willing to accept responsibility for one’s actions; it also means someone will successfully perform one’s agreed upon responsibilities.
Successful performance, or Accountability, therefore, carries the following three implications:
First: The person agrees that they should be Accountable.
Whether for a task or responsibility, if the person does not intellectually agree they should be Accountable, the chances of them living up to the expectations of what that Accountability means are slim to none.
Second: The person wants to be Accountable.
Even if someone thinks that they or their role *should* be Accountable for something, if they emotionally do not want to be, the chances of them living up to the expectations of what that Accountability means are again slim to none.
Finally – and this is where AJC can really help teams – The person knows HOW to be Accountable.
In other words, they need to be able to clearly See the Path for how to successfully perform their agreed upon responsibilities.
Fortunately, one solution for a gap in this regard is to get an Accountability Partner.
Here is a personal example. My left knee was injured, and I needed to find a way to exercise that would not exacerbate my injury, while simultaneously strengthening my leg to prevent further injury. Research indicated that biking would be help, and my intellectual side agreed it seemed like a good idea. I already have a routine of exercising for 45 minutes in the morning, so emotionally I wanted to find a way to continue my routine as well.
The problem was: I could not visualize the path. In this case, that was literally the path that I would ride from my house on my 45-minute bike ride.
Here is where I needed an Accountability Partner to help. I talked to my husband, who is a great biker, and asked if he would help me find a path and ride with me a few mornings to feel comfortable doing it on my own. I was not able to visualize the path on my own, but I *could* visualize him helping me – and that was enough to get started. I also trusted that once we rode together a few times, I would be able to do it on my own!
“I was not able to visualize the path on my own, but I *could* visualize someone helping me – and that was enough to get started.”
This describes AJC’s value of Foster Accountability. We have executed projects and change before and can help our clients’ teams create and visualize the path. At first, all they need to worry about is visualizing working with our team. We will help them create and follow the path so that over time, they will be able to see the path for themselves and can execute on their own the next time.