The one that uses the mirror, consistently.
Great leaders create a culture for feedback, reflect on that feedback by looking directly at the mirror, owning behavior, and making a change. Yet, the default of many organizations and leaders today continues to be looking to lay blame rather than facing up to the reality of their own contribution.
The old adage is true. What you see is what you get.
And, the more deeply a leader can increase self-awareness and respond to blind spots, the more effective a leader they are. A mirror is the best test for accountability and ownership. Most often our leadership mirrors are the people around us. They can give us good insights into greater self-awareness.
Look into one and ask yourself and others:
- Do you keep your commitments to yourself, and to others?
- Do you finish what you start?
- Do you turn up on time?
- Do you encourage a culture of feedback?
- Do you empower others to make decisions without your interference?
- Do you allow others to learn (fail)?
If you fall short on any of these, own them and put together a plan for change.
No one does anything for you. You make choices, take actions, and will own the outcomes.
Victims blame others, give excuses, and are vulnerable.
They complain endlessly about “Why things keep happening to them?” and burn out people with their neediness. Being a victim is a choice. Victims avoid mirrors because they deflect things onto others, rather than looking at what they’ve created in themselves.
Accountable people acknowledge reality, own it, and find solutions. Whereas fear controls the minds of victims, accountability comes from the presence of trust and the absence of fear. They know their worth and lead others to discover, explore and celebrate theirs.
If you understand accountability and can accept the power it has to transform your life, you will succeed. Accountability is about taking consistent responsibility for your behavior: choices, outlook, actions and outcomes. It’s one of the hardest things you will ever face in your adult life, but you can do it! Like being a victim, accountability is a choice. It’s that voice inside your head that says “I create what happens.” It’s something you and only you can create, shape and change. Yep, it’s 100% authentically yours!