Holding Yourself Accountable Through This Season of Our World

Hayley Panagakis

23 June 2020

Last year, when the Leadercast team planned out the monthly content themes for 2020, there was no way of knowing how applicable they would become given what’s going on in the U.S. and around the globe today. Leadercast’s theme for June is Accountability, and boy are we in a season of accountability right now.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been a polarized one. Many people are confused and trying to sort out what to think of it all. I’m not going to pretend like I have all the answers, but as someone who has worked closely with leaders through Leadercast’s mission to fill the world with leaders worth following, I can tell you how leaders ought to navigate this season of our history.

To provide some background, I am a white woman with a veteran cop as a father, a brother currently serving in law enforcement, and a network of black friends and colleagues I adore. The way I see it from where I sit at the table, with friends and family on both sides of the fence, the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t about cops versus the black community, it’s a movement in accountabilitywhich means to answer to a trust.

When we think of accountability in leadership, it’s often considered in terms of holding our team members accountable when they miss deadlines or drop the ball on a project. But more importantly, accountability means inviting others into our personal leadership journey and asking them to keep us honest and true to the ideals that make us a leader worth following.

Leaders sit in a seat of influence and powerwithout accountability, that power can become unregulated and incredibly dangerous, says business consultant and speaker Dr. Tim Irwin in this interview on Leadercast Now.

“Our power can breach our core and it makes us arrogant and dismissive of others,” he says. “As a result, we become truth-starved. We cut off the very feedback that we need in order to lead effectively.”

Featured Resource: Accountability in Leadership

Leadercast Now Series - Accountability in Leadership

To keep your power in check, adopt the theory of we, as journalist and author Sharon Frame describes in this video. When leaders implement and perpetuate the theory of we, they put the needs and well-being of others before their own agenda.

“When you have the theory of we, it's all about how does everybody rise?” she says. “How can we make sure, collectively, we are in the best interest of everybody, not just me?”

Given the times we’re in, what I hope to see from leaders is not polarization on who is right or wrong (in the end, that will keep us running in circles in our division). Instead, I hope to see leaders pursue accountability and seek feedback from others on whether their actions continually align with their values.

Here are some ways to start holding yourself accountable as a leader:

Write down your values and practice self-awareness by considering areas in which you’ve fallen short.

Seek perspectives that don’t align with your own and gain the skill of being able to have discourse across opinion lines.

Talk to people who don’t look like you so to expand your knowledge of the various contexts that play their parts in the human experience that lives outside of your own.

Listen before you speak. Active listening is critical when digesting information, so it helps to truly listen without crafting readymade responses or getting distracted by internal commentary.

By working together to give each other authentic feedback and hold each other accountable, we can grow to be the leaders our world so desperately needs and deserves.

Hayley Panagakis

This blog was written by Hayley Panagakis, a freelance writer, editor and content creator. Connect with her on LinkedIn and visit her website to learn more about her services.

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