Becoming More Accountable

In my last post I wrote about not playing the victim card or making excuses. The opposite of that is being accountable. The easy (and less effective) thing to do when things are going poorly is to make excuses or pull the victim card. The harder (yet more effective) thing to do is to take accountability. But as Steve Young mentions in this video below, owning the problem and being accountable for it is only half the battle. The next step is to then go about fixing the problem.


Steve went about fixing his problems by rallying the team to go down and score a touchdown the next time they had the ball. We can apply these lessons to the business world as well. When something goes wrong at work, and we “throw an interception,” and everyone looks at us, what’s our response going to be? Hopefully we own up to the mistake and take accountability for it. But it’s not enough to just say, “Yep, I screwed up.” We must then say, “Let’s fix it, and here’s how I think we can get better.”

This mentality ties in to a great book that I recently read called “Mindset.” In this book the author suggests that there are two mindsets, the “fixed mindset,” and the “growth mindset.” When you’re in the fixed mindset, you’re concerned about your image or how others perceive you. You want to get an “A” in a class because it validates how smart you are, and you’re more concerned with that than actually learning something.

When you have a growth mindset, you aren’t concerned how about validation, you’re more concerned about learning, growing, and improving on a personal level. Being accountable isn’t simply about being the “fall guy,” it’s about recognizing where you went wrong, what you can learn from that experience, and how you can become better going forward; it’s about having a growth mindset. Check out more on “Mindset” here.


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