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The accountability ladder illustration: A child explaining to a parent why homework wasn't done illustrating each rung of increasing accountability on the accountability ladder

The accountability ladder

When something doesn’t go right, or something needs doing, there are lots of ways to respond. If you choose a victim mentality it’s easy to ignore the situation, blame others for it, declare your powerlessness or just wait and hope. Or you can choose to consider yourself accountable and take a mentality of power where you acknowledge the situation, own it, look for solutions, and take action to do your best.

Bruce Gordon explains the accountability ladder (grainy, slightly odd video) with a fun story about him and his son where they realise his son has homework due tomorrow that’s not done.

I think most of us have more power over our situations and more potential for impact than we usually give ourselves credit — be that with our jobs, our friends, the environment or local issues. Perhaps considering your position on the accountability ladder is a good place to start.

I love this quote from Erling Kagge, the first person to walk to the triple Poles:

"Most people underestimate the possibilities you have in life. And that’s a bit sad…But don’t underestimate yourself. Also, like I said: Get up in the morning."
— Erling Kagge

HT: Buzz Pearce for sharing, as he also did for the trust equation.

PS There are many versions of the accountability ladder and I couldn’t find a definitive source, hence I went with Bruce. If you know, please feel free to get in touch.

You’re welcome to use and share this image and text for non-commercial purposes with attribution. Go wild!
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