1. I did my part; I can’t help it if other people didn’t do theirs.
2. Nobody gave me a deadline, so I just figured I had all the time in the world to do it.
3. I never really did agree with the decision, but I wasn’t about to say that to my boss.
4. What a mess—someday someone should really clean this up.
5. They never tell us anything!
6. Performance reviews are just a formality; I never take the suggestions seriously.
7. There’s almost no chance that I’ll finish on time, but I’m not going to tell anyone–things might still magically come together at the last moment.
8. People keep giving me more and more work, but I’m afraid if I say “no” to it, I’ll get in trouble.
9. I could see it wasn’t being done right, but it’s not my job to correct other people’s work.
10. I did the best I could, but I wasn’t really sure what you wanted.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if no one ever said things like this? Certainly the workplace would be more efficient if these phrases became obsolete. Why? Because they are all symptoms of a common problem—a lack of accountability. These comments are made by people who don’t:
• Take responsibility for themselves, their work and even the success of their team
• Seek clarity (including asking about objectives and deadlines) before undertaking a task
• Understand that being accountable includes holding others accountable for
what they’ve said they’ll do
• “Manage upwards” (make sure they proactively get the information they need from
their supervisor or leader)
• Speak up when they disagree and/or when they’re overloaded with work
Organizations can do themselves a great service by training and coaching people in these types accountability behaviors. For where there are individuals and teams focused on accountability, improved results and greater success are sure to follow.
Based on concepts featured in CRM Learning’s Accountability that Works! training program.
Training Resouce: Help everyone in your organization improve their accountability with CRM’s Can We Count on You? . This 24-minute video illustrates ten specific things accountable people routinely do.