How many of these excuses have you heard?

There’s no doubt that the lack of Accountability is the issue that rises to the top of the list in every conversation I’ve had with CEOs.


One of the first clues that your team or organization is struggling with Accountability is how many of the “TWENTY TIRED EXCUSES” you’ve heard in your organization? [Source:  The Oz Principle, the book from Craig Hickman, Tom Smith and Roger Connors.]

Count ’em up and use this scoring table to see how your organization stacks up?

One (1) Point for each clue you identify in your organization.

  • 1-5 clues: You can teach an Accountability course.
  • 6-10 clues: You can take a refresher course but you need to spend more time in study hall.
  • 11-15 clues: You flunked the course and need to repeat it.
  • 16+ clues: You didn’t just flunk the test. You got kicked out of school!
  1. “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
  2. “It’s not my job.”
  3. “I didn’t know you needed it right away.”
  4. “It wasn’t my fault that it’s late.”
  5. “That’s not my department.”
  6. “No one told me what to do.”
  7. “I’m waiting for approval.”
  8. “Someone should have told me not to do that.”
  9. “Don’t blame me, it was the boss’s idea.”
  10. “I didn’t know.”
  11. “I forgot.”
  12. “If you had told me it was that important, I would have done it.”
  13. “I’m too busy to do it”
  14. “Someone told me to do the wrong thing.”
  15. “I thought I told you.”
  16. “Why didn’t you ask me?”
  17. “No one invited me to the meeting – I didn’t get the memo.”
  18. “My people dropped the ball.”
  19. “Nobody’s followed up on me; it can’t be that important.”
  20. “I told someone else to take care of this.”

If you want someone at your side to help you strengthen your organization and help you achieve Accountability in your organization, you’ll find some value in my Individual Coaching program.

The Accountability Ladder

I found the Accountability Ladder to be very useful … and pretty accurate … to measure “the probability of completing a goal.”

Every concept might not work for you in every situation, but it’s a useful guideline when you find yourself, and others, struggling with the enigma of Accountability.

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