Accountability – Are You Above the Line or Below the Line?

Are you above the line or below the line? There’s a great book called The Oz Principle. In it, the authors explain that leaders are either above the line or below the line. When there is a failure, leaders who are below the line play the victim and point to other people or the circumstances as the cause of the failure. Leaders who are above the line never play the victim. When there’s a failure, they point to themselves. They own it!

Image of The Oz Principle Book on Accountability

The Oz Principle offers a simple model for accountability:

  1. See it
  2. OWN ITt!
  3. Solve it
  4. Do it.

To stay above the line you must first (1) recognize the problem. Then you have to (2) own it. You have to declare what you did or didn’t do that caused the problem. Next, (3) create a solution. And finally, (4) implement the solution.

Remember, when the team succeeds, leaders look out the window and give credit to all the people that made it happen. When there is a failure, leaders look in the mirror. They own it!

Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments.

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