“We must exchange the philosophy of excuse
for the philosophy of responsibility.” — Barbara Jordan


Holding people responsible and accountable on the one hand and
blaming and accusing them on the other are not the same. Holding someone
responsible is a performance standard. Holding them accountable is a
performance expectation. Alternatively, blaming and accusing imply negative
opinions and perceptions of the individual.


To blame someone or accuse them represents a pejorative
assessment of them. Blaming and accusing are always subjective and personal
while responsibility and accountability are performance elements that can be
objectively evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted. Since other people are
accountable for their performance, the level of responsibility extended to them
may be increased or decreased, depending on their performance. To blame or
accuse are counterproductive. Holding people responsible and accountable are
key elements in your approach with people. It starts with holding yourself
responsible and accountable and then simply extending the principle to other people.