39 Quotes That Empower You to Direct Your Own Destiny (Or Someone Else Will)

Accountability Insights: Read the original article on Inc. 

1.      “Leaders who invite everyone in their organization to solve and improve the world around them reap the benefits of their people’s innate desire to contribute value to that world.”

2.      “Why do some teams generate a powerful sense of unity and purpose in their work while other teams limp along divided in purpose, blaming one another for failing to deliver? We think the answer is accountability.”

3.      “[Influential leaders] take total ownership for current circumstances and inspire a sense of optimism within the teams they lead. These are the leaders who get accountability right.”

4.      “[Everyone] can get stuck in the blame game or victim cycle on occasion, but those who take accountability for results and are successful in achieving them never remain in that cycle for long.”

5.      “The more we hold people accountable the wrong way, the less accountability we actually get.”

6.      “Individuals, teams, and entire organizations that use a positive and engaging approach to accountability are able to propel themselves toward achieving the results they need.”

7.      “We much prefer thinking of accountability as a tremendously positive force, not something someone else does to punish you, but something you do for yourself in order to get better results.”

8.      “No one gives accountability to you; you must take it. When you take it, you put yourself in charge of the outcomes you want and need to deliver.”

9.      “You have the power to get the results you want.”

10.  “Most people want to see more accountability, yet few recognize that they need to take more accountability.”

11.  “Creating accountability begins with clearly defining results.”

12.  “Nine out of ten senior management teams fail to clearly define their Key Results. Their failure to do so prevents people from looking at what else they can do to achieve them.”

13.  “When an organization fails to reach its important goals, the lack of performance represents a collective, not an individual, failure.”

14.  “Who bears responsibility for solving the problem doesn’t matter as much as the need for someone, anyone, to solve it in a way that delights the customer.”

15.  “When everyone shares accountability for achieving organizational results, they almost automatically create momentum and speed toward achieving Key Results.”

16.  “Seeing It [the hard reality] requires a level of curiosity, courage, and humility that allows you to hear what you may be uncomfortable hearing.”

17.  “The least effective leaders we interact with take up all the space. They already have all the answers. Their perspective is the one that counts.”

18.  “It takes real effort to look past your own limited perspective to see what others are seeing.”

19.  “Organizations that insist on frequent difficult conversations create the highest levels of accountability.”

20.  “If it doesn’t link to a Key Result, it’s not a top priority.”

21.  “Ownership is the ability to make a connection between where you are today and what you have either done or failed to do in the past that put you in your current circumstances.”

22.  “Highly accountable people put all their creative energy into delivering results.”

 23.  “Nearly every desirable leadership skill links closely to openness, authenticity, and humility. Self- effacing, unpretentious leaders tend to display a high degree of empathy and emotional intelligence.”

24.  “Inviting people to ask, ‘What else can we do?’ suggests that the leader expects them to come up with the best answers.”

25.  “[Effective leaders] foster productive thinking. They make it clear that they value creativity and innovation. They facilitate movement in the needed direction by stimulating people to do something else, something different, to achieve Key Results.”

26.  “Sometimes it takes an entire team to make it happen; sometimes it takes just one person who despite the risks is unwilling to stop until the solution is found and implemented.”

27.  “The value of ‘ideation’ manifests itself in the ‘doing.'”

28.  “A fear of failure can paralyze people. Of course, there are risks in moving forward and making mistakes, but there are also huge risks associated with standing still or perpetuating the status quo.”

29.  “It’s not enough to spend time seeing, owning, and solving a problem without taking the necessary action to do whatever needs to be done to achieve the desired result.”

30.  “Knowing that even a minor, seemingly insignificant little problem could snowball into a bigger one, [healthy companies] decided to convert even the smallest obstacles into opportunities for growth.”

31.  “[Strong leaders] keep Superman’s cape in mothballs, never swooping in to save the day with their own solutions. They do not solve problems for their people; they coach their people … enabling them to reengage their minds so they feel responsible for discovering the needed solutions.”

32.  “Constructive feedback replaces corrosive accusations, humility replaces arrogance, and optimism replaces pessimism.”

33.  “When it comes to corporate culture, leaders too often neglect that basic fact of human behavior–experiences create beliefs and our beliefs influence the actions we take.”

34.  “Leaders can’t tell their people to change their beliefs and expect them to do it. Instead, leaders must create the experiences needed to shape the desired new beliefs.”

35.  “A company’s culture is the sum of the experiences, beliefs, and actions that enable it to achieve its Key Results or impede it from doing so.”

36.  “Leaders tend to get caught in an action trap that does little to help people achieve and sustain results over time.”

37.  “To change a negative belief that currently blocks your path to Key Results, you need to strike at the cause of that belief. You need to replace the experiences that shaped those beliefs with ones that will inspire people to take the needed actions to get the result.”

38.  “A lack of accountability can creep into any organization. It may first come unannounced as a reasonable explanation; then it may escalate into a more aggressive blame-oriented accusation; and then, over time, it simply becomes ‘the way we do things around here.’ That narrative in an organization can take over and inevitably lead to failure.

39.  “Only when you assume full accountability for your thoughts, feelings, actions, and results can you direct your own destiny; otherwise someone or something else will.”

Related Stories

Learn More

4 Steps to Creating a Culture of Accountability

Learn More

Responsibility vs. Accountability

Learn More

Why Companies with a Good Product and Strategy Aren’t Succeeding

What Can We Help You Find?