Why Accountability ?

Why Accountability ?

Video Overview

Watch Roger Connors, CEO, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Oz Principle, answer the question, “Why Accountability?” Our experience has shown us that accountability, done correctly, produces results (view Roger’s bio).

Why Accountability? Everyone talks about it. Leaders want it. Employees are often afraid of it, shareholders demand it and stakeholders insist on it. But exactly what is accountability, and how do you get people to take it?

How you demonstrate accountability in your daily work essentially defines the working relationships fundamental to every activity that occurs within your organization.


Personal Accountability is the foundational building block for every performance improvement effort and is always the underlying factor of success in every organizational development effort, including:

  • Change Management
  • Execution Initiatives
  • Teamwork/Alignment
  • Employee Engagement
  • Leadership Effectiveness
  • Talent Management
  • Organizational Culture Change
  • Building Trus

Accountability is the guiding principle that defines how we make commitments to one another; how we measure and report our progress; how we interact when things go wrong, and how much ownership we take to get things done. It is, in essence, the nerve center that runs throughout every part of the organization, through every working relationship to every member of every team.

If accountability is not working in your organization, then every effort toward performance improvement will be inefficient and ineffective. The ability to execute and deliver results is directly tied to the accountability attitudes, practices and systems that are in place in an organization.


In many organizations, accountability is often done in a way that can actually sabotage your ability to get results. When we start working with a client, we often hear people throughout the organization describe accountability as something that happens to them when things go wrong, when it should be something they do to themselves to ensure results and success. How you go about creating accountability matters. Often, when done the wrong way, it leads to what we call the Accountability Paradox: that is, the harder you try to create accountability, the less accountable people actual become. This happens because people are reacting to the manner in which accountability is implemented.

Accountability, done effectively, is a skill you can develop just like any other skill. While it is not a difficult skill to acquire and hone, it does require a high degree of conscious effort. When you do it right, you’ll also find it the fastest way to improve morale. A Conference Board survey of American workers revealed that over half the American workforce does not feel engaged in their work. The results of this survey reported job satisfaction at 45 percent, its lowest level since 1987. In addition, 64 percent of employees under age twenty-five expressed dissatisfaction with their jobs. Another poll found that over half of those who left their employer, left because they felt their work environment was a dictatorship.

Greater accountability eliminates the time and energy spent in unproductive behavior that produces wasted effort and confusing distractions. Recent surveys show that the vast majority of people, at all levels of an organization, engage in these ineffective behaviors in their daily work. The price that is paid by both individuals and organizations for a lack of accountability can be significant. In a complex and challenging business environment, no organization can afford to pay the price for a lack of accountability. Unfortunately, people in most organizations only worry about accountability when something goes wrong, resulting in a “Run for cover” mentality when anyone mentions the word. By introducing a new view of accountability, a positive and principled view, accountability for results becomes something that everyone embraces as a helpful step in making things happen


The real power of accountability comes when the focus is on taking greater personal accountability for achieving results. That personal accountability manifests itself as greater personal ownership, buy-in, investment and engagement. From time to time, when working with a client, leaders tell us not to use the word “Empowerment” in their organization because they are frustrated in their unsuccessful efforts to create it. Failed attempts to better enable people to overcome obstacles to achieving results leaves them skeptical about organizational initiatives designed to better “Engage” people. Empowerment, in the corporate sense, has become something someone does to you. Accountability, on the other hand, is something you do to yourself.

When you take personal accountability you own it. You tell yourself, this is mine, I’ve got the ball. You ask yourself, “What else can I do to make progress, overcome obstacles and achieve the result?” You don’t waste time blaming others or waiting for someone else to solve your problems, you actively engage and deeply pursue solutions.

Any training effort, improvement process or organizational intervention needs to begin with a clear focus on the business results you want to achieve. Ensuring that those efforts are imbued with accountability will accelerate your progress and help guarantee your success. When asked to evaluate their success in defining the expectations for results that they hold others accountable to deliver, recent surveys of business executives show that they feel largely inadequate when it comes to doing this effectively.

Today’s challenging business environment calls for training that makes a difference on the bottom line. Implementing a positive approach to accountability helps ensure that employees at every level of the organization embrace accountable behavior and attitudes that can shape daily work and the achievement organizational results. Creating A Culture Of Accountability provides the key to the success of any organizational initiative.

Partners In Leadership has spent over twenty years helping organizations all over the world gain greater personal and organizational accountability because we believe that no other single attribute of individual or organizational life contributes more to the success of individuals, teams, and organizations.


“I have found The Oz Principle to be an incredibly powerful tool for both organizational and personal development. My experience in working with Partners In Leadership has been outstanding. I have found Partners In Leadership to be flexible, and they have always shown a genuine interest in our success.”

Carl Harkrider, Amco Corporation

“We experienced the impact of The Oz Principle training to any organization that needs to dramatically improve in the areas of personal accountability and teamwork and needs to make an impact fast.”

Paul Gilbert, President, Cooper-Standard Automotive

“Partners In Leadership is an excellent resource for any manager working to build an ‘ACCOUNTABLE’ organization. Understanding your role in gaining the alignment of the people you hold accountable is key to achieving your desired results, and they teach you just how to do this.”

Scot R. Benson, Vice President & General Manager, MacDermid Printing Solutions

“I would highly recommend The Oz Principle training program to any company who is serious about making a dedicated commitment to improving their results and culture. Based upon our initial experiences, this is truly a program that delivers on its promise.”

Dennis K. Golman, President, ETA Cuisenaire

“I would highly recommend The Oz Principle training to any organization that needs to dramatically improve in the areas of personal accountability and teamwork needs to make an impact fast.”

Larry Olmstead, Vice President, Johnson Controls

Partners In Leadership lays out a compelling and insightful way for leaders to engage the individual and collective energies of the many people, teams and departments that they depend on for obtaining results. A must follow, sensible and repeatable way to build morale and get results.”

Jean Leger, Jr., Vice President Operations, OGE Energy Corp.

“My recommendation for any CEO is to be very clear about the culture they want to create and use the tools that are provided by Partners In Leadership for changing from the past to the future in a very accountable way and to employ those tools, which will really put you on the right track for the future.”

Ginger Graham, Former CEO, Medical Device – Bio Pharmaceutical Industries

“I would clearly recommend Partners In Leadership as a partner. What they provided Johnson Controls and me as a leader is flexibility beyond the content expertise they have around this topic and, given the fact they have worked with so many organizations, small and large, they are able to provide insight, ideas and experiences that have helped us along the way in our journey.”

Mark Katz, Vice President, Sales Service, Johnson Controls, Inc

“Leading and managing a business in a dynamic, globally transparent market can be very challenging. Partners In Leadership provides just the right approach about how to create accountability, ownership, and culture change to meet this challenge. They give you practical tools that help your team and your entire organization’s managerial practice! I am making their approach mandatory for all of my management teams.”

John J. Withers, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Critical Care and Vascular Therapies, US National Operations, Edwards Lifesciences

“Partners In Leadership effectively identifies, develops and teaches how to hold individuals, teams and organizations accountable-be it at the family, educational or governmental levels-in a way that builds morale and produces results. This is the right approach for getting results in today’s global environment.”

Gregory J. Newell, Former U.S. Ambassador, Assistant Secretary of State

“Partners In Leadership have provided leaders with a usable, clear methodology for engaging the hearts and minds of the individuals in their organizations. It is the best practical leadership work I have ever come across in my career.”

Stuart J. FitzGibbon, Refinery Manager, American Sugar Refining, Inc.

“This has been the most successful equity story we have been associate with. We had over a 7000% return on equity investment from when we started our work with Partners In Leadership to when we were successfully acquired, which is really a success story.”

Dave Schlotterbeck, President and CEO, ALARIS Medical Systems

“Partners In Leadership, the established leader in the field of accountability, provides a solid road map for leaders who are working to better hold others accountable. They lay out a step-by-step approach that is particularly helpful in dealing with the day-to-day challenges of holding others accountable for achieving results…they will help you turn accountability from concept into reality.”

Jim Mazzo, President, Abbott Medical Optics, Inc.

“Partners In Leadership offers leaders what they really need; a tool for effectively holding others accountable in a way that allows them to be successful and sill sleep at night. A must for any leader who wants to achieve success in a sustainable way.”

Major Daniel Thompson, Officer in Charge, EMT, 325th Combat Support hospital, United Stated Army

“I am proud that my organization has put a lot of effort into communicating our desired results and our progress towards those results with all of our associates, but we have been missing the mark on some levels and couldn’t quite get a handle on why. The Oz Principle has helped me get a better grip on what might be “enabling the misses.”

Mary Ellen Dunn, Home Office Claims Analyst, AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance Group

“The first thought that comes to mind when thinking about the Oz accountability training is that the accountability training provided was clear, simple, and a well-designed learning experience with effective facilitation. The materials were extremely useful and the message resonated with the participants. With the help of Partners In Leadership, we have been able to get on the same page, improve communication within the company, and have managers become more accountable for achievement with established key results.”

Joyce Phillip, Chief Human Resource Officer, University Physicians, Inc.

“The Oz Principle Accountability Training did more to further the endeavors than any other single opportunity our personnel have been exposed to.”

Mark P. Shambaugh, CEO, Shambaugh & Son, L.P.

“I highly recommend the concept of Accountability as expressed in The Oz Principle.”

Stan Gromek, Strategic Learning and Organizational Improvement, PPG Industries

“I read The Oz Principle approximately two years ago and it profoundly impacted my approach to management, leadership, relationships, and accountability. I have had every General Manager on my team read the book and all incoming managers are given a copy. The Oz Principle is one of the building blocks on which we have built our core values. The training was a huge success with the entire team. My managers are still abuzz with the training. I have and will continue to recommend The Oz Principle training to other leaders within Sodexo.”

Steve Sherman, District Manager, Sodexo Government Services

“The Oz Principle has become a part of my everyday life, and I am enjoying the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I highly recommend Partners In Leadership and The Oz Principle.”

Doreen Reinke, Vice President, Service Operations, Scottsdale Insurance Company