Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Personal Accountability

Everything in our life teaches us all that we can not control what other people think, say or do. Nor can we control most of the events that occur around us. The one thing we do have power and control over is ourselves. So why do we not exercise our power and fall trap to others? This is why leaders constantly reminding others that personal accountability is so critical and that those who demonstrate the ability to demonstrate this accountability will stand out amongst the crowd.

I have a good friend who reminds people that excuses are only good for the one who is giving them. In reality we all know that there are good reasons things don't go as planned, mistakes will be made, at some point you will drop the ball and often stuff happens. I know on any given day any of us can go on and on with "reasons". However when we try to exonerate ourselves with reasons, explanations, cause and affect they end up having the image of excuses.

Lets focus on the officers or leaders of the group. Personal accountability is a must in everything you do. With true leaders you cannot separate the personal accountability from the leader. As leaders who are embarking on a new vision you must be strong to keep that vision true to heart being faithful to the efforts and desire to make that vision come to fruition. Leaders must be diligent in their efforts working tirelessly to accomplish the vision exhausting all means for a successful journey. Never lose faith or lower the vision. Falling short of the vision is better than setting one low and making it. If leaders will follow the vision with heart-felt desire you will win! To sum it all up you must keep the vision and keep from getting distracted. This is personal accountability, they are committed and dedicated to see something through till the end.

Shifting gears, our eyes now fall on firefighters. Personal accountability must be in everything you do. Stop for a second and think about who, what and how you impact others both civilians and colleagues. I remember in my early years an officer giving a comparison example of firefighters impact people. Captain Rice told me that everything you do in the fire service you must have this personal accountability just like the parachute packer does when repacking the parachute pack for a paratrooper. He went on to say that if this individual did not do his job correctly and timely then the paratrooper jumping from the plane could be critically impacted. There were no excuses in this case. Now think about how life and death everything we do really is. I know you are saying how does not mopping the floor or a toilet skipped while cleaning is going to impact the big picture. If you would cut corners on the simple things you most likely will on everything else as well. Thus personal accountability is lost.

Just remember when personal accountability is lost on an individual level it will cause the organization to lose that personal accountability as these attitudes travel through organizations like fast spreading cancer.

Intra-inspect yourselves and your companies. Where is your personal accountability levels?
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