Ask anyone in the world if they believe we all should be accountable and responsible and they will answer yes. So, why is there such a lack of accountability and responsibility in the world? I guess there are two reasons for this.
- Because when we are talking about being accountable and responsible we are talking about a certain level of, and everyone seems to have a different level that they deem appropriate for others and for themselves.
- Because of our bias towards ourselves. ie. We think everyone else should be more accountable and responsible to us than we necessarily should be towards others.
I was speaking with some people yesterday and we mentioned apologizing or saying sorry as a form of taking responsibility and being accountable. I went on to say that not only do we need to say sorry or apologize for our failures but give an acceptable apology for them. Siting last weeks public episodes of the United Airlines dragged off passenger and Sean Spicer’s comment about Hitler not gassing his own people.
The people that I was talking with initially deemed the idea of giving an acceptable apology as taking the idea of accountability and responsibility too far. But in the end if we give an apology that is not accepted then ultimately the issues are not going to be fully resolved.
Both Spicer and the CEO of United took about 4 attempts before their apology was within the realms of being acceptable. How do we know that? When the public criticism and ridicule subsided.
Understanding this idea of giving an acceptable apology and not just an apology or saying sorry, is the level of accountability and responsibility that we can all agree upon
and that we all hold each other to whether we like it or not.
PS Maybe we should also apologize for our failed attempts to apologize in the first place? Now that would be taking accountability and responsibility to the next level, maybe.