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"You can't talk your way out of things you behaved yourself into."
- Stephen Covey

April 2009

Spring is in the air, and we all have managed to make it to the 2nd quarter of the year. I am still new to the East Coast and have a very different appreciation for the term "spring cleaning" than I did before moving here four years ago. We are preparing the winter clothes to be boxed and stored away and the yard for the return of gardens and butterflies. We anticipate the inevitable return of lightening bugs, campfires, and days at the lake. I find it impossible not to do some spring cleaning in my mind as well, and in my business goals for the next two quarters of the year, including my attitude and accountabilities. It comes down to taking responsibility for my own actions and responses and not slipping into a blame game when I don't get what I want or feel threatened.

This spring is a good reminder for making renewed commitments to taking ownership. Join me, won't you?     

All the best,
Jennifer Signature
Leadership and Accountability

OfficeEconomic instability. Political changes. Financial insecurity. Promises are made, but circumstances change, and promises are broken or forgotten. In this day and age, is there anyone - or anything - you can depend upon?

Skepticism and suspicion abounds in every workplace, especially when the world outside tests even the staunchest optimist. During these times, it is more important than ever for you as a leader to be accountable for your actions and decisions.

Don't play the blame game. Accept responsibility for your part of the decision-making process. On February 9, 2001, when Navy Commander Scott Waddle guided his ship out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on a "distinguished visitor's cruise," he had no idea the day would end in tragedy and mark the end of his military career.

Against his attorney's advice and at his own personal risk, he later testified in court as to the events and decisions leading up to the collision with Japanese fishing vessel, taking ownership of his mistakes. He even flew to Japan at personal expense to apologize in person to the families affected by his misjudgment.

Accountability means taking ownership of your decisions, which requires usage of all four areas of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. (for more on emotional intelligence, check out the articles on our blog)

OfficeFinger pointing, plausible deniability, and dodging responsibility do little to help build confidence and loyalty within your employees and certainly do not positively affect your bottom line. Stepping up and taking ownership of mistakes is hard, but the rewards you reap in results in productivity and loyalty will surprise you.

Today more than ever, people are searching for leaders who act responsibly and are willing to be held accountable for their actions and decisions. Show your team that you are willing to step up in this area, and they will, in turn, step up right behind you.

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