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 (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.
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
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.