Problems and Solutions

We all need to take steps to accountability. Throughout my career in executive leadership, I have had relationships with people who were critical of the company that employed us. These were generally successful, mid-level managers. I would listen to their issues, ask questions, and consider their opinions. My parting words were always the same, “Please get back to me with possible solutions to the problem.” Most did not follow up on that request and perhaps felt that I was being dismissive. However, I have always believed if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

The Blame Game

In “The Oz Principle”(oz-principle), authors Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman classify complaining individuals as being part of The Blame Game. These people typically take a wait and see attitude or cover their trail, do some finger pointing, and ignore/deny the facts. “It’s not my job,” or, “I’m confused: tell me what to do,” are common refrains among the complainers. Unchecked, malcontents can demoralize an organization. They can operate at what Connors, Smith, and Hickman call, Below the Behavior Line, an environment where no one acknowledges the truth of the situation.

Steps to Accountability

If we are honest, we probably all have times when we’re functioning Below the line. To operate Above the Line, “The Oz Principle” lists these progressive Steps to Accountability:

  • See it – Recognize and acknowledge the full reality of the situation.
  • Own it – Accept responsibility for the experience and realities you create for yourself and others.
  • Solve it – Change the reality by finding and implementing solutions to the problems. Be creative. Avoid the trap of falling back Below the Line when obstacles present themselves.
  • Do it – Have the courage to follow through with the identified solutions, even if they involve a lot of risk.

Be Accountable

Practice the four steps to accountability.  See it, own it, solve it, and do it. These actions will keep you out of the Blame Game and Above the Line for productive behavior.

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