I was part of a discussion last week about the new buzz word/phrases of accountability and failure being a topic of discussion. After thinking about the concepts more, I find myself torn in two ways. One, when did these words stop becoming buzz words – in other words, was there a time that they lost their power and potency in current culture? The second is that if one is true, then thank heavens that they are coming back now!
But why – why are they important?
Accountability, stemming from the older words that mean to account for something, means that an individual or a group will make a choice and then stand behind it. I think most can understand the concept of accountability, even if we don’t always like to be called for account. But, it’s relation to failure is not always as obvious as might be thought.
Accountability and failure seem again the obvious match, as we are called to account for our failings. But, in this particular case, it was brought a step further. Failures happen, our best plans sometimes flop horribly. Not leaving it with simply the immediate mess cleaning up is where I would challenge all of us. Instead, we must learn from these happenings and apply that knowledge to hopefully lead to a different result.
My low pressure example was I was trying to make potato cakes. I’ve had potato cakes, but I’ve never made them before. Combining a couple of different recipes, my first batch was not so much cakey as like an apple sauce texture. Needless to say, that didn’t stick around long to be stared at like some starchy soup. But, recognizing that the potatoes were not staying bound together as they were needed, I added flour – with the result that the new batch came out quite beautiful and golden brown. Yes, that is a pretty low stress example, yet serves as a good example of trying something, failing, and then, making changes and trying again.
We all fail. We all need to shoulder forms of accountability (and be a little kinder with each other since we all fail at times). We all need to learn from what failed and decide what changes to make to move forward. Buzz words, maybe. Life time lesson words – absolutely!