Who wrecked the economy? There’s a lot of finger pointing: lending practices, consumer debt, executive greed… the list goes on. In the end, the crisis can be traced to poor judgment and ill-advised human behaviors.

Aliens didn’t descend from outer space and plant this problem. We created this mess.

Here’s the elephant in the office: “You can’t blame me. I’m only a small piece of the system,” some might say. And they’d be right on two counts: This isn’t about blame, and they are a part of a system – the system of “us”. We (you and me) are responsible for the culture in which we operate. How we function (our culture) determines our results.

It is shocking how few people own this responsibility. Those who do take responsibility choose not to be victims – and become tomorrow’s leaders.


We’re talking about accountability. And there’s good news: Businesses are the perfect and primary vehicle to create greater responsibility and a culture of accountability, for business is the grandest forum with which our society interacts.

Countless people will spend time on blame and focusing on what went wrong; and while the causes for this malaise must be understood and consequences delivered, the only way we can move forward is if we lead ourselves forward.

Today, discuss these questions with your team:

  1. In our environment, what’s the difference between “holding someone accountable’ and “ensuring accountability”?
  2. To what extent does our team reinforce and reward accountability?
  3. What are the actions that build accountability in others?

The future belongs to those who choose to stand up again. Ensure your organization leads the way and makes a culture of accountability a greater reality today.

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?



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