Bill Cosby once said that you’re not a real parent until you have two children or more. If you only have one child, you always know who did something. I chuckle as I’m the parent of three children and there were many times I just threw my hands up and said, “I give up!” Trying to decipher who was stretching truths or covering up blunders; you were constantly policing a situation. Children learn accountability through examples. It comes with time – and when it happens, it’s like magic!
Our personal and professional lives are riddled with moments of accountability. You could be headed in a good direction or bad direction, but depending on your individual character, how you exhibit accountability on those journeys speaks volumes in our online and offline lives.
For example, my husband’s father one time stood in the “15 Items or Less” aisle at the grocery store. As he approached the conveyor belt to put his items down, he counted and had 16 items. He gathered everything off that conveyor belt, apologized to the person behind him in line and went and stood in the much longer (more correct) aisle. Could he have gotten away with the 16 items? Absolutely, but his character was that of honesty and I’ve heard that’s the best policy. He made himself accountable in what seems like a very trivial situation. You know what that means to me? In more complicated positions , I can trust he will do the right thing; no questions asked.
How many of us would get out of the grocery line? Really question yourself about that because I don’t think it’s a high percentage of folks. I’m included – I would have stayed. It’s disappointing to admit that to you. I alway said I would be honest, even when it’s something not so nice about me. #GonnaWorkOnThat
I believe it’s easier to experience accountability in the offline world. We can “see” and “hear” with so much more granular detail. As I pondered this topic today, I realized how much those using the social channels depend on accountability though. Are your online connections accountable to their profile, persona and conversations? I spent some time reviewing people I respect and the far majority of them are, however, I found a few who have motives that I found questionable. How do you build accountability online then?
First, be an authentic person online who is responsible to the channels you use, the profiles you build and material you create. Then, do what you say you are going to do; be trustworthy. For example, I’ve helped THOUSANDS of people with social media questions. They did not pay me for that help, nor do I expect it. My only request ever has been for anyone I help to pay it forward to someone else. I believe in leading by example. When people ask you questions about anything, be honest. It’s not fun to be wrong, but we are human – admit your flaws.
So, what’s the verdict? Are you an accountable person or not? It might mean the difference between where you are right now and where you want to be.
Sheryl Brown / @BionicSocialite