The man in the mirror…

“The best kind of accountability on a team is peer-to-peer. Peer pressure is more efficient and effective than going to the leader, anonymously complaining, and having them stop what they are doing to intervene.”

Patrick Lencioni

The key to accountability is the willingness to be wrong. Are you willing, and able, to look in the mirror and say to yourself, “you were wrong, you could or should have done or said something differently.” This is is easy to say, but incredibly hard to do, especially when emotions are involved.

Does your identity revolve around being “right” or “doing what is right?” If it is the latter then you have a tremendous leg up on 99% of the world where the default state is to point the finger at someone or something else and say it was “their fault.” If you are focused on doing what is right then that will guide your actions and make self-accountability and ownership much much easier.

I like to think of peer-to-peer accountability as an incredible opportunity to recruit others to help “watch my six” and offer insight and perspective to ensure that what I think I am saying and doing is actually what is being conveyed. Others can become the “accountability mirror” that help you own your behaviors and actions.

To build this degree of trust though is a two-way street, if a person is excellent at delivering sage advice and perspective, but can’t receive it in return, and action on it, then their insight and input will be limited because trust is limited. Foster those relationships that will tell you what you really need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear it, and seek the same from you in return.

To do this, you have to seek it out, and you have to be willing to be wrong. Accountability is ownership, and you are always the owner, 100% of the time…

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