Challenge Your Accountability

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30365778_mA savvy young manager was telling me that his colleague was starting to speak in a CYA kind of mode.  Then he hesitated and asked me, “Do you know what CYA means?” I laughed saying, “Cover your ass!”

Relieved to know I knew what he was talking about, he went on to tell me that he asked his colleague why he didn’t just tell the truth.

I stopped laughing, and thought that indeed, the best strategy is to tell the truth.

You tell the truth because those listening can:

  • Understand the problem
  • Look into what’s possible
  • Support you in making a decision
  • Fit what happened into a larger context
  • Tell you what they’re thinking that you didn’t already know
  • Count on you for reliable information

And yes, they might get irritated too! But it’s like ripping off the Band-Aid. Get it over with.

Honesty is the best policy.

It builds trust in our words and actions. We count on each other to be impeccable about our words, and to not intentionally signal a falsehood or misdirect one’s attention away from the truth.

To be honest is to be honorable.

To hold each other accountable is to honor each other.

Rather than be part of an excuse, this savvy manager put the issues on the table and pre-empted any attempt to excuse the mistakes made. Instead he pointed the team’s attention to what needed to change to be successful.

Let’s change the meaning of CYA from cover your ass to challenge your accountability. Covering your ass conceals what happened. Challenging your accountability calls you to reveal the facts. It challenges you to change. It challenges you to be answerable for what happened, and to chart a new path.

My love goes with you as you work with this Uplifting Moment

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