Performance, Personal Accountability and Dreams

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Let me start off this blog post asking you a series of questions, some work-related, others not. 

Performance, Personal Accountability and Dreams

If you’re not at the hierarchical or pay level you feel you should be, whose fault is it?  Which obstacles have stopped you from reaching your aspirations?  How come you don’t have all the material things you treasure?  Who has prevented you from taking the adventures you’ve dreamt about since you were a youngster?

For most of us, the answer to these questions might be, “It’s them.  They are responsible.”  In other words, we point the finger of blame externally because it’s somebody or something else’s fault for our own shortcomings.

One more question for you–who is the “they” that are responsible, anyway?

Are you certain that pointing outwardly is the right direction?  Is it really someone or something else that is totally responsible?  When it comes to our own performance (or lack thereof), are we always the victim or should we take on some level of accountability? 

Maybe we need a perspective change about our performance and who is accountable?

Interestingly, there is a book, written by B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura titled, Who Are “They””Anyway?  It’s a great book and a short read (an added bonus) all about changing perspective from being a victim to becoming more personally accountable.  One of the things I like most about the book is a list of the ten most important words of personal responsibility.  And to get that perspective shift I mentioned, perhaps we should start changing our vocabulary from being a victim to one of being personally accountable.  Here’s a sample of what I’m suggesting:



# of Words



Victim’s Vocabulary



Personally Accountable Vocabulary *


They make all the decisions; They can do it themselves. I won’t wait for others to take the 1st step.


They have all the power and control they need. If it is to be, it’s up to me.


They can’t possibly think I should handle that. If not me, who?  If not now, when?


I wonder who will get stuck now. Let me take a shot at it.


Give it to someone who cares. I will not pass the buck.


I do what I want. You can count on me.


I pass the buck. It IS my job!


Leave me alone. Just do it!


Absolutely not. I will.


You Me

 * From Who Are “They” Anyway?, by BJ Gallagher and Steve Ventura

Dearborn Trade Publishing; 2004

If you are a victim, not willing to take initiative, and continue to point the finger of blame at others, then how in the world will you ever achieve YOUR dreams?  Without personal accountability, you are doomed to fail.  And, trust me, the blame for you not achieving your dreams will lay squarely on you.

Get started being personally accountable.  Working on achieving your own dreams is a great place to begin.

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