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Accountability is about making sure that others are productive, and holding them accountable for doing their part to meet their objectives to make your organization successful.

Please check out the Featured Articles from our Accountability Library to get you started.

The 6 Powerful Benefits of Admitting Your Mistakes

Go ahead. Raise your hand if you’ve never made a mistake

If your hand isn’t up, how willing are you to own and admit your mistakes?

What’s the Difference Between a Lie and a Mistake?

If you make a mistake and are not corrected, this is called a mistake. ~ Confucius

Before we get too far, let’s distinguish between failing to admit a mistake and actually lying.

I’m not sure of the provenance of this nugget, but it helps to make the distinction:

  • When an error is made unintentionally, it is a mistake.
  • When an error is made intentionally, it is a lie.
  • When a mistake is pointed out, but still clung to, it becomes a lie.

This is NOT about lying or covering up illicit activity, say, the example of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, which was a deliberate effort to cheat U.S. emissions standards. The Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme and the Lance Armstrong doping scandal are among the countless other events born with a deliberate lie to conceal illicit activity.

Today, I’m going to show you why admitting your mistakes … promptly and unprompted … is the only way to Become a More Effective Leader.


Skip the Double Talk. Say What You Mean. Mean What You Say.

Magicians are pretty amazing, aren’t they?

They do stuff right in front of our eyes … we’re on the edge of our seats … expecting the unexpected … and even then we have no idea how they just did what they did.

How Did He Do That?

Watch Apollo Robbins, the best pickpocket it in the world, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Somehow, he gets you to look one way while he’s doing something else right in front of you … and you completely miss it.

What kind of magic are we good at? We’re pretty good at turning words on ourselves.

Collateral Damage” is one example, a euphemism for what happens to you and me when we step onto the wrong field at the wrong time.

A lot of damage can also get done in your business when you use a euphemism for a particular business challenge which obscures the real issue.

Before we get there, however, allow me to provide a preamble that demonstrates how deeply embedded this form of double-talk is in our society.


How Can I Be Sure You’re Not Faking Authenticity?

Authenticity is top of mind more than ever these days.

You can get away with a lot these days (Ferris Bueller) … stumble while giving a speech, lose your train of thought, make mistakes …. but if you’re authentic, you’ll get a hall pass for all of it.

You can get away with a lot these days … but if you’re faking authenticity, you'll get caught sooner or later.

It’s Pretty Easy to Get Faked Out

Years ago I was traveling regularly to Asia, and wanted to buy my wife a Cartier tank watch, a style that was very popular at the time.

I visited a reputable jeweler where most of my partners had been shopping for over 20 years, and found exactly what I was looking for. My wife was ecstatic, and I saved a lot of money over what I would’ve spent in the U.S.

Then Again …

Keep reading to learn how to be more authentic


Thrilled That Your 2017 Plan is Finished? Any Chance It Might Get Implemented This Year?

Finishing your 2017 plan feels great … but if you’re not working it with intense and relentless focus, it’s DOA.

The harsh reality is that the so-called strategy formulation part is important … and as challenging as it may be, it’s by far the easiest.

For some reason, it just won’t implement itself.

Your 2017 Plan is just the Starting Line

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. ~Dwight Eisenhower

I know you’ve seen this quote before … because I use it like they vote in Chicago – regularly and often.


Because it captures the essence of the planning activity that so many executives miss. THat includes the CEOs and senior executives who complain that the exercise of creating an annual plan is basically … worthless.

They usually say something like,

“ It’s a waste of time to create a plan every year … and a budget and a forecast to go with it … because the future is unpredictable and it never turns out the way we plan it anyway.”

Military strategist Helmuth von Moltke is famously known for this simple quote in response:

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”

What’s your experience?

Keep reading so you don’t miss the 6-Pack of Annual Plan Success


Who’s Interested in Paying More Taxes? Any Volunteers? | Trump’s Tax Returns

Love or Hate Trump, your choice, but this isn’t about politics

What it is about is the ignorant financial reporting by the mainstream media. It’s no wonder there’s a populist uprising against the stranglehold of professional politicians and Beltway journalists (using the term “journalist” loosely) trying to run the country.

What’s Going On Here?

Last Sunday, and ad nauseum ever since, the losses on Trump’s tax return have been front and center in every news story and with opinions from every pundit with a pen.

But there are several obvious facts that are never mentioned that are particularly relevant to the business community. I want to address 7 issues with a more objective perspective on common business practices and the tax code that applies to everyone.

This is not intended to be a political commentary about either Presidential candidate. It’s only meant to be an objective observation of relevant business, financial and tax principles that have been ignored by the media in its overzealous reporting about the tax returns of Donald Trump.

7 Points to Consider about the Tax Return Controversy

A Few Assumptions

For the record, these are a few underlying assumptions and principles:

  • I have no special knowledge of Trump’s business activities, but I am assuming he is acting lawfully.
  • The Trump Organization is a privately-owned company that is not required to publicly report its financial results.
  • I am not a tax expert or a registered tax practitioner. I have spent decades in senior financial positions, however, and have practical knowledge of certain basic principles.

1. Why Hasn’t Trump Released His Tax Returns?

This seems to be the “elephant in the room.”

Keep reading to gain a practical understanding of what’s going on here ….


Why don’t people return phone calls?

It’s remarkable that so few people return their phone calls on a timely basis. Why is that?

Are we just lazy? Too busy? Did I mention lazy? Don’t give a rip? “If it’s important, they’ll call back?”


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Are you eyeballin’ me? Of course not … not you. You return all your calls. Right?

Wanna think about all the time we invest in phone tag? Nah, me neither.


Ok, let’s do it anyway. Talk about a time sink … keeping track of all those who …

  • don’t return the call,
  • are out of the office,
  • traveling,
  • on vacation,
  • sick,
  • already on the phone …

… what a bother, huh?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably got dozens of these floating around at any one time.

What if they don’t return phone calls at all?

Keep reading if you need a few more reasons to NOT return phone calls


There’s a simple one-word formula to Achieve Excellence

PREPARE to Win … or get ready to get your butt kicked!

I n our travels, we’ve seen plenty of obstacles to success, from making the tough decisions to staying focused on execution.

As if all that isn’t enough, there are still a few more barricades around the corner.

Lack of preparation is one of them.


How many people have the will to lose?

How many of us have the will to lose?

Few, I’d guess, probably between zero and none.

How about the will to prepare?

The determination to do the unrelenting hard work to prepare to win … maybe not a lot more … and yet that’s exactly where the rubber mallet hits the lobster claw. Keep reading to embrace the key to success


Hope Springs Eternal … but it’s not enough!

How’s that strategy execution coming along?

I ’ll bet things are starting to drag about now, aren’t they? Summer’s here, you’re dialing it back a little, taking some well-deserved vacation. You launched the year full of promise … but many of your initiatives seem to be stuck, people have too much on their plates, the plans you made may not quite make it to the finish line …

How do you get your initiatives back on track?

The gum does kinda lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight, doesn’t it? Even though you’re about to round the clubhouse turn toward year-end, you’re discovering that it’s much easier to start than to finish.

You struggle to keep the engine stoked with the same energy that propelled your launch at the beginning of the year.

You may be feeling some of the air coming out of the tires, and begin to wonder … “where did all of our energy go”?

What’s that whimpering sound?

Keep reading …