Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Leadership and accountability

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In today’s world too many people avoid accountability for their actions. When things go wrong they find someone or something else to blame. Look around you…I’m sure you’ll see examples.

Too often leaders of organizations take the credit when things go well, but they find ways to avoid responsibility when they get unexpected results. This behavior will not work in the long-term; accountability is too important for leaders avoid. They need to make every decision with the resolution that no matter what the outcome, they will take responsibility for the results.

So what does ‘accountability’ look like? Leadership expert and author Michael Hyatt summed it up nicely in his article How Real Leaders Demonstrate Accountability:

First and foremost, it means that you accept responsibility for the outcomes expected of you—both good and bad. You don’t blame others. And you don’t blame the external environment. There are always things you could have done—or still can do—to change the outcome.

In the article Mr. Hyatt gives a great example of a leader truly stepping up to his accountability (pay particular attention to the opening paragraph in the summary report).

Leaders will not succeed in the long run if they are not accountable in their personal lives. My friend and mentor Dr. Paul Jenkins is the expert in personal accountability. In his recent video he describes two paradigms that shape individual’s lives. Watch this video – it will change your life for the better:

Take responsibility for your actions. Be accountable as an individual and as a leader. I promise you will achieve more success in everything you do.


The Product Management Perspective: The way in which product managers see their world – their ‘paradigm’ – influences their effectiveness as a leader. They can take the ‘victim’ approach or the ‘agent/hero’ approach. If they blame others and wonder why things don’t work out, they are taking the victim approach. If they take accountability for their actions and do whatever it takes to succeed, they become agents of positive change. They become heroes to those whom they lead. Not ‘hero’ in the sense of super heroes, but in the sense of someone who does more than they are expected (and probably paid) to do.

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2 thoughts on “Leadership and accountability

  1. Pingback: Leadership and accountability | dawbria

  2. Pingback: Embracing the “We” | Exceptional Customer Service

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