The Audacity of Accountability
1/8/12 / Karla Raines
The four most dreaded words in any group endeavor – “That’s not my job.”
The six most dreaded words in any group endeavor – “I didn’t sign up for that.”
Imagine being the CEO of an organization and hearing those comments from your Board of Directors as you face down the third year of deficit spending.
It’s one thing to assume others are accountable. It’s another to hold them accountable. Let’s be honest, human beings can be very good at wiggling out of accountability.
The word accountability – an obligation and willingness to accept responsibility – can come across as a bit hum drum. Perhaps it’s the close relationship to the word accountant. The notion of counting beans and checking numbers. Sorry guys, not what I call fun.
In actuality, accountability is audacious. It’s daring, and can even appear to be recklessly bold. It would have been daring and bold if a board member had challenged his/her peers to be accountable. It might have come across as a bit reckless. After all, that would have meant discarding normal constraints (e.g., we don’t challenge authority, we don’t speak out, we don’t fund raise) in service to the organization.
Now that’s the audacity of accountability.