Today’s post is another from our AWI archives and relates to personal character issues which I call “integrity”. In fact, it was part of a series entitled Integrity.
Even though the following post was written about 6 years ago, the message contained within is as appropriate – if not more so – today than it was when written originally.
I hope you’ll take a few moments to read, digest, ask yourself some deep soul-searching questions and leave a comment here as well.
“Two things I recall about “accountability”. One is a statement made over the weekend by a dear friend that we can’t hold another accountable for promises unless the person is being paid. Second, statements made about my Dad – “If Herm Suhre says he’ll do something, you can take it to the bank!”
One statement says that accountability is tied to financial remuneration for doing something one said one would do with no mention of payment. The other is a matter of personal integrity that flows from who the person is.
In my viewpoint, “accountability” flows from within! It is part n’ parcel of our personal integrity. Remember, when I refer to the word “integrity”, I mean our ability to be the same inwardly as we are outwardly – we are integrated. Psychologically, there is no dissonance between who we are inside the skin vs the “skin” we present to the world.
Here’s my long & short of the subject: if I want to be paid for something, I need to state that loud & clear – up front. If I don’t do that, then to not follow through on what I say I will do, brands me as a person who can’t be “counted on” in the future. In other words, I may not be viewed as a person of integrity.
In the course of personal human relationships, it is rare that we expect to be paid for helping another achieve his or her goals in life (operative word: “personal”). Most of us simply do so out of the goodness of our hearts because that’s the way we’re made. Women especially have an innate capacity to offer help where it is needed, with little to no expectation of monetary return.
The critical issue is whether we follow through as we say we will do – or we don’t! That is indeed the “long & short” of the subject at hand. We either have integrated a desire to be honest in our dealings with others who expect us to be accountable to our word – or we have yet to reach that point in our maturing process.
IMHO, there is no difference whether we’re talking about personal or professional accountability. The outcome of a failure to follow through in either life arena has devastating effects on how others view us. If the matter is personal & we fail to do as we said we’ll do – then the other will assume we have the same lack of commitment in professional matters. And the same is true when the life arena is reversed!
With this post, I’ve started a series entitled “Integrity Series”. I’ll take an issue I believe is a matter of our personal wholeness & give my ‘spin’ on it, with the EXPECTATION that each of you will add a comment or 2 (or 3, 4 or more)!
Take a few minutes from the day to assess how accountable you view yourself with regard to the promises you’ve made – whether solicited by others or one’s you’ve simply personally committed to. If you find you’re falling a bit short. . . then perhaps it’s time to consider the following:
1). Review solicited commitments made to others & realistically assess whether you can keep them or not. If “not”, then quickly let the other know so as to maintain a level of integrity.
2). Review commitments you made because you simply wanted to. If you can’t keep those either – be upfront with those to whom you made the commitment in order to maintain accountability with them.
3). If you’ve made commitments for which you’ve received or anticipate payment & can’t keep them – return the funds or quickly & kindly “opt-out” with a candid statement as to why you must do so.
4). Determine what you can realistically commit to at this point in your life. Let your passions, purpose, and goals be your guide.
Finally, hold yourself accountable FIRST! For the first person to whom we must be accountable is ourselves. When we achieve that level of integration – we’ll find it easier to be accountable to others. And they’ll say about you, “when she says she’ll do something; you can take it to the bank!”
Have a day being accountable first & foremost to you. All others will follow from there. . . “
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Eriching Women in Business Worldwide
You’ll find us at the following locations-Come Join Us!
Neighborhood Boutiques – OPEN ALWAYS!
The Neighborhood at Facebook
AWIBoutiques at Facebook