Accountability versus Responsibility or How Dave Got The Job!

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Definition of Accountability

: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

Many of you would class yourselves as responsible people…..

But are you accountable?

These words are often used interchangeably, however whether you are a responsible person or an accountable person can have a huge impact on your life.

And just a subtle change in mindset can help you achieve your goals.

A buddy of mine, Steve, was interviewing potential candidates for a position within his company. His offices are city center based, and that particular day there was a multi-vehicle accident that caused gridlock just before the interviews were due to begin. Immediately he started receiving very apologetic phone calls from people stuck in the traffic asking to reschedule their appointments.

Now these people were perfectly responsible people, they had left their homes in plenty of time to get there, it wasn’t their fault there was an accident. Steve, being a nice guy, rescheduled the appointments for later in the day. He then sat down to start some work when there was a knock on the door.

Surprisingly, his secretary said one of the candidates had a arrived. When she showed him in, Dave stood there looking slightly disheveled, and a little red faced and shaky. Steve asked him if he was alright, he said he was, and over a glass of water he explained what had happened.

He had been driving on his way to the interview when he encountered the traffic, he quickly realized that he was going to be late if he just sat there. So he parked his car, found the closest tube station, travelled across town by tube and then ran the 6 blocks to the office. When he arrived he was only 3 minutes late.

When Steve asked him why he didn’t try to reschedule he said “I hold myself accountable for all aspects of my life and I don’t make excuses. You expected me to be here at a certain time and it was my responsibly to get here regardless of circumstances.” – Steve hired Dave on the spot and has been working for him for 6 years now.

You see, accountability means not only being responsible, but ultimately personally answerable for your actions. Making the choice to be invested and involved in the consequences and taking ownership to go beyond responsibility.

To your successful online adventure,


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