A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you



Ever had a day where you are figuratively hit over the head with life lessons?  Today was one of those days.  There are too many to write about in just one post so today, I’ll choose the one that fits this months’ theme on Leadership.




What a great word.  


Webster defines it as,

“an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions”


Wikipedia, not wanting to be outdone, uses a bit more words.  In regards to leadership, it defines the word as

“the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies including the administration, governance, and implementation within the scope of the role or employment position and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences”


We hear the word thrown around quite a bit in the workplace.  A culture of accountability, an accountable workplace, team accountability, and accountable leadership.  (Shoot, I developed a course years ago that I named “Accountable Communication” – it was a very popular!)


Everyone loves the word.  It’s even fun to say.  Come on…say it with me:
A – count – a – bil – ity!

Fun word!  But why is it that we see so little of it demonstrated in the workplace?



Today, the word…more specifically, the absence of the behavior…reminded me of one of my “Kinzieisms” – I call it the forgiveness factor.


I believe leaders need to build the “forgiveness factor” with our teams because one day, we will exchange this currency to repair or salvage our relationship.


We are human.  We are not perfect.


One day, we will screw up.

One day, we will forget something.

One day, we will have an error in judgment.

One day, we will make a decision made by anger instead of logic and reason.

One day, we will offend or hurt someone with our words or actions.

One day, we will allow our pride to trump an apology.


Our “forgiveness factor” will determine if our relationship with the employee will be maintained, damaged, or even severed.


It will come down to this…were we accountable?


Demonstrating accountability builds the “forgiveness factor.”



We must take responsibility for own behavior.

We must be willing to take the heat for our team’s actions.

We must step in front of the figurative fan when the %&*@ is flying.

We must do what we say we are going to do.

We must admit our shortcomings.

We must sincerely apologize when an apology is needed.


Only then can we ask for accountable teams. 


Only then can we brag about an accountable culture.


Only then can we claim we are accountable leaders!



Indeed, it is a great word. 
If we dare to use it, let us care to demonstrate it.



AccountabilityEmployee RelationsEngagementForgivenessGood FaithHuman ResourcesLeadershipResponsibilityRole of HRTeamworkWorkforce Satisfaction

Heather Kinzie • June 16, 2012

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  1. Chef Leo June 18, 2012 - 5:53 pm Reply

    Awesome and pointed to a key to our relationships including the one we have with ourselves! Thanks Heather! Your words are very encouraging and challenging….things we all need to succeed!

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