Affordable accountability?

EmPulse for Week of March 28, 2011

Affordable accountability?

One of the distinguishing marks of leadership is accountability. First, a leader is accountable to those who follow him/her. A leader’s responsibility is to raise their vision and productivity and to provide for their sustenance and safety. Second, leaders are accountable to those in authority over them; whether it be a military chain of command or a corporate structure, leaders are accountable to someone higher up, VP to President to CEO to Chairman of the Board to shareholders. We all live within the autonomy of accountable. Free to act within boundaries.

But the core of accountability is to one’s self. Invariably, accountability begins within a person as they set their own aspirations and boundaries. Those who live without ambitions or borders rarely amount to much; for they have given into the belief that license equals true liberty. Such is not the case. Instead of liberty, license leads to a lurid irresponsibility that affects not only one’s self-image, but also a person’s relationships with others. Even God Almighty granted us perimeters of protection that would clarify for us how we were to live in this world and be responsible for all therein.

Accountability does not come cheap. It always costs someone something on both ends of the relationship. For the one in submission it implies obedience, trust, compliance and regimen within the boundaries of commitments made. For the one in authority it means trustworthiness, nobility and honor, clarity of vision, and a passion to inspire others to work together toward a common end. It involves both parties laying aside personality differences (nay, even utilizing those differences), disregarding minor variances in procedure or even mentoring philosophy, and putting the goal to be accomplished as pinnacle.

If that goal is the nurturing, the maturing, the refining of the other individual, then cost becomes secondary to all other considerations. What is your education worth? What are your children worth? What would you not sacrifice to help them find fulfillment in life? Let’s move further— What are you passionate about? What would you not give to fulfill your dream? Or are you seriously willing to live in the doldrums of ship with no sail, no destination? You see, accountability is often seen as the bondage of one individual to another, of a servant to a master, a rank & file soldier to their chain of command. The reality is significantly differently. True accountability is costly for all involved; in a sense, it is never quite affordable…, for at least one person in the equation, and often, for both. Quite simply, accountability costs.

So the next time you find yourself in an accountability relationship, know that someone has, and will, pay a great price. And it you are asked to be accountable to God…, well, think of the cost, His, and yours.


Have a nice week.


One thought on “Affordable accountability?

  1. “Accountability doesnt come cheap.” I like that. It does cost. Both sides have to trust. Both sides have to function in integrity. And those are pricey commodities!

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