Lack of Accountability…a Virus We Have the Power to Stop

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

This allegory demonstrates the slippery slope of personal accountability in a humorous way. Yet being accountable is no laughing matter. Management consultant Todd Herman defined personal accountability as “being willing to answer … for the outcomes resulting from your choices, behaviors, and actions.”

When you choose to be personally accountable, you take ownership of the situations that you’re involved in. You see them through, and you take responsibility for what happens – good or bad. Instead of blaming others if things go wrong, you do your best to make things right.

Life happens to all of us! We all experience situations that get in the way of the results we seek. Yet when you’re looking to get results, regardless of what they are, accountability is your greatest ally.


Personal accountability is not a skill or trait you are born with. Being accountable is a choice and a way of living that you can learn to employ. Use the strategies below to become more accountable.


Success in life only comes when you’re completely honest with yourself, and with others. Set aside your pride and be willing to admit when you’ve made a mistake.

And though honesty is always the best policy, don’t use it to blame others. Instead, focus on your own role in a situation, be courageously honest with yourself, and focus on how YOU can resolve the problem.


The bottom line when it comes to resolving issues is your ability to find solutions. Instead of focusing on who’s to blame or investing your energy into resentment or frustration, seek to find solutions instead. 

Regardless of whether you’re truly responsible for the situation or not, finding solutions is ALWAYS going to be more productive than finding fault. 


A personal mission statement may seem like an odd strategy for being more accountable, yet knowing what’s important to you and what you want your life to be about plays a big part in your level of personal accountability. Your personal mission statement defines what you are working toward each day. When you have clarity about this, your desire to be accountable will soar. 

People who are “on a mission” to accomplish something each day don’t have time to get bogged down in the trivial details of who did what and why. And that’s precisely what blame and fault finding are … trivial. 

Individuals who have clarity about their mission find solutions that bring them back to their path.


Lack of accountability is a contagious virus that infects the mind and paralyzes progress. It can quite literally be “the thing” that makes the difference between a life you love and… well one you don’t. 

Just like a virus, a persistent lack of accountability is often too small to be noticed (seen).  And so often we see a lack of accountability to be the problem of others, but here’s the rub—just like a virus, a lack of accountability is only able to multiply within the living cells of a host… THAT’S YOU. Whether or not it multiplies within you is entirely up to you!


We’ve already got one virus infecting the world, let’s each do our part to make sure there’s not another.