LEADing with Accountability
“It is wrong and immoral to escape the consequences of one’s acts” – Mahatma Ghandi
The idea of accountability has existed since the birth of responsibility. Merriam-Webster defines Accountability as “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Seems straightforward, right? Yet, increased exposure to unaccountability makes me wonder why being accountable is so hard.
We screw up, we admit it, we face the consequences, we make amends, we move on. As a teaching parent, I tell my kids, “fifteen minutes of feeling bad is better than fifteen years of regret.” A child who faces the fear of being accountable for his/her mistake will grow confident and strong. So why do “leaders” in business, politics, education, religion, sports, and local communities feel the need to hide from their words and actions? Adults face the same fear of being in trouble a child does but being “in trouble” in mature years takes on new meaning: loss of job, money, power, stature – even freedom, if guilty of a crime.
The Advertising/Marketing industry in which LEAD operates is filled with companies that are unaccountable. Backdoor deals, kickbacks, inflated commissions, unreported losses, quid pro quo, lying, cheating – it’s commonplace, especially when relationships are undeveloped. Accountability is listed as a core value at our company. It is not taken lightly. Since 2008, we’ve had many clients tell us how much they appreciate us showing vendor invoices, documenting invested hours, inviting them into our working process, being transparent with our operations and being accountable when we make mistakes.
We put our reputations (and those of our friends, family, and coworkers) on the line every day. Nobody looks forward to being wrong, but our credibility soars when we’re able to admit it. In this age of “Tweeter’s Regret,” let’s just do what we said we would, carry out our responsibilities as best we can, and stand in front of our words and actions.