MacDonald: Can you be counted on? |

MacDonald: Can you be counted on?

Machen MacDonald

When productivity slips, profitability tumbles or chaos ensues, many will point to an accountability gap.

Accountability means different things to different people given different situations. Many people associate lack of consequences to lack of accountability. There appears to be a punitive association to the concept of accountability.

Accountability is not about punishment, revenge, or consequences. Accountability is a way of being, an attitude, and perhaps a habit, that lends itself to our staying in integrity to accomplish things together in a predictable fashion.

Notice how you feel about your level of accountability and the ability to count on those you lead at work, community or at home.

To help you assess your accountability awareness, circle the number next to the item you feel you are in alignment with:

As a person, I am an accountable person because…

1. I do what I say I will do…on time.

2. My excuses about why it didn’t get done are acceptable to others.

3. I am answerable when a commitment or agreed upon expectation is not met.

4. I am clever in that I tend to not get in trouble when I am late, miss deadlines or do things sub par.

5. My actions create a sense of predictability in myself and for others.

6. I am not asked to take on important projects.

7. I show up.

8. I show off.

9. I authentically communicate implicitly and explicitly to affect clarity.

10. I am ok with keeping the status quo.

11. I have a sense of urgency to do things correctly the first time and meet predetermined time lines.

12. I know there will always be time to go back and do it correctly if it’s important enough.

13. I listen and observe objectively.

14. I listen and observe critically.

15. I earn and maintain trust in my relationships.

16. I notice people are often disappointed in my behavior; but that’s their problem not mine.

17. I take responsibility and respond with my ability.

18. There is usually a very good reason why I am not able to meet my commitments.

19. I am mindful to not over commit myself.

20. I have a difficult time prioritizing my workload and saying “no” to others.

21. I make and keep my promises to others.

22. I feel nobody really keeps their promises these days. It’s not that big of a deal.

23. I make and keep my promises to myself.

24. There is never any time to take care of getting my needs met.

25. I set and hold firm boundaries.

26. Most people are disrespectful and do what they want without considering my needs.

27. I hold others accountable.

28. It’s too much work to enforce myself or others to keep agreements.

Count the number of even numbers you circled. Total the circles. Count the number of odd numbers you circled. Total those circles.

There is no wrong or right number of either to have circled. This is meant to enhance the accountability awareness of yourself and others you interact with. The odd numbers in the list above represent the behavior of people that are accountable. The even numbers represent the behavior of people that can not be counted or depended upon.

The choice is yours. Do you choose to be someone you and others can count on? Notice, whether or not you are attracted to people you can count on versus people you can’t count on? Who are you?

Make it up, make it fun, and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonad, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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