THE BLOG
11/04/2014 08:45 am ET Updated Jan 04, 2015

How to Be an Eagle, Not a Chicken

We are in the midst of a global crisis.

Truth is that you could argue we are in the midst of many global crises...

Ebola, New Cold War, Middle East, Terrorism

Banking, Poverty Gap, Job Market

Housing, Famine, Water, Energy

Weather... and on and on...

Yet -- I'd continue to argue -- all of them have one core crisis in common...

The lack of accountability for lasting and just solutions.

You see... it's not that we can't find the responsible people... they are clear.

Be they in government or business, public sector or private, elected or appointed, hired or anointed...

Some are heads of state or their ministers; some are CEOs or their minions; others are mid-level functionaries -- of all sorts -- bureaucrats, if you will, and some are just hired hands simply trying to get through their daily grind...

And it's easy -- simple in fact -- to identify them and point the finger of blame. They are responsible -- after all, they control the budgets or the agencies or the processes or the markets or the governments or the companies that control the money; the decisions and the resources that impact us all -- everyone in the world, day in/day out, 24/7.

They are responsible and we can blame -- but no one wants to be accountable...

And here is the epicenter of it all...

We need accountability -- plain and simple.

People putting their hands up and saying me... not people pointing their fingers, saying him/her, you/them.

Read the news any day -- count the numbers who are ready to accede to being responsible, but who then tell you that it wasn't them who caused the issue, created the crisis, perpetuated the problem -- it was others... their boss, the system, kismet...

And of course those above and below are equally quick to deflect. To point, to blame, to indict...

Yet, what's missing is the simple and poignant hand up -- the buck-stops-with-me body language...no matter where I am in the organizational hierarchy... top, bottom or middle...

Bottom line, to bring it as close to home as I can -- in our business and personal lives it's the same -- I'm personally tired of people -- even in my own company -- passing the buck -- stepping aside -- using regulatory environments, blaming others often through silence -- and basically not standing tall... front and center... with solutions or at least passionate ideas for them that will require dirty hands and, yes, risk.

But think about that risk -- in a world where it's getting ever harder to differentiate, ever more competitive to succeed, ever more difficult to stand out -- think of accountability as the ultimate strategic tool to distinguish yourself from the pack... not to mention that it's the right thing to do and will make you feel good...

Finally... accountability is the great leveler. While responsibilities might change -- accountability can be had by anyone -- all it takes is a raised hand and the moxie to take a risk... and you can be the equal of -- in fact, greater than -- just about anyone.

Accountability is action; accountability leads to big ideas; accountability is like unconditional love -- powerful and feared by those who can't accept it.

Create a culture of accountability... listen:

If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly. Steve Maraboli

It's easy to look at the world and deflect -- but next time you read about a government abdicating around an issue or a company refusing to accept blame for causing hurt, or when you see a coworker point a finger or a friend pretend not to see -- think about the chickens... and be an eagle...

What do you think?