The Accountability Ladder; Post 1

I have come across a helpful tool in understanding the difference between being accountable for the change that needs to occur in our life versus being unaccountable. It was originally created by Bruce Gordon, President of the NAACP, and he described the ladder as having eight rungs in the progression of accountability. The first four rungs indicate a reactive mindset, or victim mentality and the upper four rungs indicate a proactive mindset or empowered mentality. Today’s post will take a look at the first four rungs.

Victim Mindset (Reactive position):

The first rung is Unaware – this is the first step of the accountability ladder. We are unaware or not conscious that there is a problem. “I didn’t know they weren’t happy with my job performance.”

The second rung is Blames Others – once we are aware of the issue, our inclination is to blame someone/thing else. “This isn’t my fault. My co-workers never told me of the policy change.”

The third rung is Excuses – we can’t really get away with blaming others so we move to making excuses. “I haven’t been given the proper training. My time is limited and the expectations of this company are too high.”

The last rung is Wait and Hope – still lacking the ability to start being accountable, we wait and hope that the problem gets solved by others or takes care of itself. “I am waiting for things to change.” 

These four rungs of the accountability ladder are considered below the line, and represent powerlessness. It is only when we cross the threshold into accountability, do we experience feeling empowered.

Tomorrow’s post will examine the last four rungs of the accountability ladder.

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