WARNING: ACCOUNTABILITY IS PAINFUL!

personal accountability in the mirrorFine. I’ll admit it here publicly:

When I walk 3+ miles each day, I often take Kelly Clarkson along. I’ve aways enjoyed her energetic and creatively written 2004 album “Breakaway.”

And every time I hear her belt out the song “I Hate Myself For Losing You,” I wonder, What would our world look like if we all lived like that?

Here are her challenging, accountability-themed words that could’ve come straight from the QBQ! book on PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY …

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Accountability: Be Good Enough To Beat The Ref

Ref shirt2The photo above is of the actual shirt I wore when officiating high school wrestling matches in the Southern Tier of New York State from 1978-1980. As a Cornell student, it was a fun and meaningful way to make money. Recently discovering it, I am reminded daily of what my dad taught me—and many others—about personal accountability. An idea so powerful it became a chapter in QBQ! The Question Behind the Question.

With NFL playoff football ahead, this message couldn’t be more timely. So, share on!

“Beat the Ref” (Ch. 16 of QBQ!)

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Accountability Avoidance and the 3 Words That Solve No Problems

Wizard pic

Meet “Wizard the Lizard,” an Australian Red Ackie Monitor. Having him as part of my reptile collection has reminded me why it is so easy for humans to avoid PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

Wizard is my first Ackie. After he arrived from a Las Vegas reptile store, I learned online that good Ackie care involves keeping their environment moist and hot. When kept dry and cool, there is a permanent consequence:

Their toes fall off—forever. 🙁

So, a little worried I’d get busy and distracted and do it wrong, I worked hard keeping Wizard warm and wet.

I never did count his toes when I got him, though.

Two weeks into owning him, as he relaxed on his fav log, I noticed something …

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Got Anger? How Anger Prevents Accountability

Closeup portrait Angry young Boy, Blowing Steam coming out of ears, about have Nervous atomic breakdown, isolated grey background. Negative human emotions, Facial Expression, feeling attitude reaction

Note! See John share “Got Anger?” on Periscope/Youtube here!

I’ve noticed something about people who day in and day out practice PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY:

They’re in control.

They don’t fly off the handle or overreact. They don’t allow anger to take root, shaping their behaviors.

Being human, though, we can have anger that prevents us from being accountable. Here are three anecdotes:

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Formula for Powerful Personal Growth: 2 – 1 = 3

Pruning: “to remove unneeded branches or limbs; to trim; to clear the undesirable”

Tree collage with nbrs

It might be the most common metaphor of all time, but it works. In the collage above:

Image One: Our upside down Mulberry tree, appearing dead.

Image Two: Two days after intense pruning.

Image Three: One month later, we have the healthiest Mulberry tree evah!

Pruning trees works. It also works for peopleif we let it.

So often, though, the “undesirable” in us doesn’t get trimmed away because when someone tells us, “You really need to change!” we respond with … 

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Accountability: 9 Questions to Help Me Change Me

How do some people manage to change while others never do?

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Accountability to Change Me

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Good question! But here’s a better one: How can I change me?

Every human wrestles with change, so to help us find victory in this arena, we’ll share some key questions that can create change in one’s life. But first, a cautionary note.

We’re not going to beat ourselves up. There won’t be any shaming going on here. Change never begins with negative thoughts like, Why don’t I ever change? and What a lousy person I am!

Rather, change happens when I do  a “calm, cool, and collected” self evaluation, so I can decide what to do today to change. Let’s get to it!

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Accountability: Be An Achiever, Not An Alpaca

Alpacas

Every time we visit our friend’s Colorado Alpaca ranch, I note these animals do a lot of standing around, as if they’re waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Look at the photo above that I shot. Don’t you agree they could be thinking, What should we do now?

To me, they appear to be slightly odd, inaction-prone creatures who probably don’t get much done each day.

I suppose that’s fine for an Alpaca herd. We just wouldn’t want it happening—or should I say, not happening—in our organizations.

Can you imagine people getting paid to work X hours but spending some of that paid time asking Incorrect Questions (IQs … quick tutorial) like these?

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Ansel @ Alamo: Accountability in Action

Michael Pemberton is president of UNIQUE Paving Materials. UNIQUE employs 40+ people and has been adding value to our economy since I was a one-year-old. That’s 55 years!

Like others who carry his title, Mike has spent a night or two worrying about the success or failure of the organization. He knows that if UNIQUE goes under, not only would it be a disservice to its paying customers, but more than 40 people would be unable to feed their kids, pay their bills, and build their life savings.

So when a guy like Mike sends us a story about serving customers that’s meaningful to him, we think it can be meaningful to all. Enjoy!

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