To What Do You Hold Yourself Accountable? Examining Accountability in Leadership
Most of us want to be the boss. It’s appealing to reach a place in our leadership where we can do what we want, when we want, and answer to no one. As we start tasting success, many leaders slip into a zone of thinking I can do and say whatever I want, and the world must deal with me.
But this is a very dangerous place to be. When we are at the top of our game, with unquestioned authority, we must vigilantly protect the integrity of our leadership by reinforcing measures of accountability—not neglecting them.
To illustrate my point, I’d like to reference Mr. Donald Trump. In a previous blog, I listed effective leadership qualities Trump displays which attract people to him. In contrast, when we examine his reactionary, off the cuff, often hurtful speech, I wonder if we are seeing this very phenomenon: I can do and say whatever I want, and the world has to deal with me.
We’ve all seen leaders who allow their professional achievement to translate into reckless and unruly behavior in their personal lives. Their leadership position and inflated confidence lead to personal decadence. This destructive symptom of success is an erosion of their character. They live without restraint. Without accountability. They lean to their position and status for credibility, rather than their character. But money, power, and authority are no substitute for character.
There are two ways to evade this erosive tendency. First, we must adopt standards higher than our own. For me, it is Biblical standards. Second, we must invite people we trust to regularly to speak into our lives. We must directly ask our closest circle: Please tell me, do you see me doing anything ignorant in my life? Do you see anything I am missing? Then quietly listen. Calmly reflect. And boldly change.
So my questions for you today are:
- To what standards do you hold yourself accountable?
- And to whom do you make yourself accountable?
Book I Just Read: The Seven Seasons of a Man’s Life by Patrick Morley. This is a great book full of principles for every man’s life. The seven seasons, which don’t have to be linear, are:
- Season of Reflection
- Season of Building
- Season of Crisis
- Season of Renewal
- Season of Rebuilding
- Season of Suffering
- Season of Success
For Further Reading: