This principle, when re-affirmed, will cause a complete paradigm shift from the front office to the back office, from lending to operations, from the receptionist to the management team. What can it be?



This principle, when re-affirmed, will cause a complete paradigm shift from the front office to the back office, from lending to operations, from the receptionist to the management team. What can it be?

One only needs to look back over the past two years and recall the financial disaster of many of the favored on Wall Street such as Enron and others, to recognize that some people ''aren't minding the store''. ….or at least in the way they should be, in the eyes of the shareholders and most employees.

Some labeled it ''cooking the books''. Others called it, '' an oversight'' or '' a mis-judgment in profits''; still others, it was ''creative accounting that got out of control.''

But the overriding factor for the cause of it all, as well as the cause of what is hampering the higher performance and growth of our credit unions, can all be summed up in the simple but powerful insight that we simply are not doing a good job of PRACTICING PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY!!! It is that simple.

In 27 years of consulting with credit unions, as well as other large and small organizations, I can say without hesitation that every challenge, issue, road block, or problem in an organization can be traced back to some department, division, branch, team, or individual not being personally accountable for what they are employed to do.

It is true that we are a highly regulated industry with all sorts of compliance, regulations, guidelines, processes, procedures and laws. But you can't LEGISLATE PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILTY! Personal accountability is the true power of ''ONE''. When re-affirmed collectively, it can forever dramatically change our entire credit union culture and every person in it.

In today's business culture, the lack of personal accountability is a problem that has resulted in an epidemic of blame, complaining, and procrastination. No organization or individual can achieve its goals, compete in the marketplace, fulfill its vision, or develop
people and teams without personal accountability as a core value.

Believe it or not, the solution is an entirely new approach characterized by new thinking and behaviors where we no longer give lip service to teamwork, but ask, ''WHAT CAN I DO TO CONTRIBUTE?'' and ''HOW CAN I MAKE A DIFFERENCE?''.

The concepts and underlying principles are simple. It all starts with an ''I''. Every person from Board Chairman and CEO to the FSR and Lending Officer in our credit unions needs to re-affirm personal accountability as a core value. We cannot take it for granted like others have and allow possible disaster to follow.

Here are some telltale signs that individual personal accountability has lost its place in your credit union's core values. Maybe you've heard some of these phrases. Maybe you have even used them!

''Why do we have to go through all this change?''
''Why is this happening to me?''
''When is someone going to train me?''
''When is that department going to do its job right?''
''Who dropped the ball?''
''When am I going to find good people?''
''Why can't they communicate better?''
''Who's going to solve the problem?''

I have also found that in teaching people this core value, you can't be re-affirming personal accountability in a memo, a staff or a Board meeting! It doesn't work. As I said before, you can't legislate personal accountability.

Learning has not taken place unless there is a change in one's behavior. It's that simple. BUT the rewards for carrying out this training are tremendous and in my experience, can do the following:

Boost morale
Adapt to change
Enhance communication
Increase productivity
Foster creativity
Develop people
Build effective teams
Solve problems.

Doesn't it make sense to take the time to re-affirm through a behavioral changing teaching process this critical core value. Everything we do in our organizations is driven by this ''power of one'' principle. It should be the precursor for everything we do, whether it's our training, customer relationship management, personnel appraisal, organizational change and development or just working more effectively with one another. It enhances everything we do every day.

My partner, John Miller, is helping to make this core value re-affirmation happen. He has just recently published a new, hard hitting book called ''QBQ! Achieving excellence by practicing personal accountability in business and in life''.

Using succinct, lighthearted stories in easy to read chapters, John has given us a practical method for putting personal accountability into daily action. The results are that problems get solved, internal barriers come down, service becomes customer-needs focused and people get motivated personally and professionally. The book takes about 45 minutes to read.

John has self-published, but you can get a free copy of his book or inquire about our speaking schedules by calling our offices. 1-800-238-6844 or e-mail dwilson@integrityconsultants.com. For more information on our ''QBQ!'' 1 day training, visit our website at www.integrityconsultants.com and click on QBQ.

This article was written by Dick Wilson,. Sr.Vice President of Integrity Consultants, a div of NITC, INC.



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April 21, 2003


  • Very thought-provoking article. It's humbling to self-assess our own attitudes, and see real room for improvement.
  • How true!! It seems that personal accountability got lost somewhere as we increased technology.
  • Another advertisement! These ads should be segregated from hard factual news!
  • Thanks!
  • hear, hear!
  • very interesting article good ideas
  • Personal accountability goes so much farther than just the workplace! Our society as a whole has a lot of room for improvement here!
  • Sounds great!
  • TEST