by Rick Crossland, author of “The A Player: The Definitive Playbook and Guide for Employees and Leaders Who Want to Play and Perform at the Highest Level“
What would happen if we were all more accountable for how we think and respond to the situations we find ourselves in and the choices that we make?
Accountability is the fundamental axiom for being an A Player. Becoming a more accountable person and becoming more accountable as an organization are absolutely the fastest paths to more results, more success, and more happiness. There’s also a special concept of accountability that I call the “Line of Choice.”
The Line of Choice is a defining horizontal line that categorizes the daily situations we find ourselves in and the choices we make as human beings in responding to these situations. Below the line, B Players and C Players play the part of victims of their situations; Blame, Excuses, and Denial are the active ingredients used by those caught below the Line of Choice to compensate for the negative side effects of their decisions. This acronym that spells “BED” is very appropriate as B and C Players hide beneath the sheets to avoid their failures and mistakes. In short, spending time thinking “below-the-line” gets us nowhere. While all individuals can sometimes be found below the Line of Choice, A Players spend 99% of their time above the line!
To occupy positions above the Line of Choice, A Players continually exhibit the following characteristics: Ownership, Accountability, and Responsibility. Using this “OAR” to propel you into a life of success and happiness pays off in the long run as both personal and organizational goals will be achieved. Despite the fact that B and C Players blame everyone but themselves for their actions, A Players understand that Ownership, Accountability, and Responsibility are the appropriate means in which to develop as an individual. When mistakes are made as a result of their choices, A Players do not find reasons or excuses; instead, they are apologetic and use these challenging situations as learning tools for later success.
To maximize the benefits of the Line of Choice, A Players must also develop SMART goals. Having goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound are critical. SMART goals balance the needs of both the A Player and the organization as both parties reap the bounty of a financial victory. With the resources and leadership of their superiors, A Players independently develop plans on how to achieve their SMART goals. Incorporating SMART goals into the region above the Line of Choice fosters A Player creativity and innovation for the organization.
If there is one character trait that best defines the “A” in A Player it is most likely accountability. Successful people encounter at least the same number of setbacks and tough situations in life as less successful people. The difference in their results is the way they practice “above-the line” responses to challenging situations with ownership, accountability, and responsibility.
Our greatest freedom of all is how we think and respond to challenges. Improve your personal accountability in this area and enjoy an immediate increase in your personal results and happiness.
Rick Crossland is author of the book “The A Player: The Definitive Playbook and Guide for Employees and Leaders Who Want to Play and Perform at the Highest Level“. He works with organizations across the country to transform good companies into great companies.