You’re probably not as accountable as you think you are

Written on Sep 29, 2016

By Jennifer Rieman, CAE, manager, public relations

Are you accountable?

If you’re like most people, you would probably answer yes. But in his consulting work with companies, Jeff Nischwitz, J.D., president of the Nischwitz Group, sees major gaps between perceived accountability and reality.

Jeff Nischwitz, J.D.“We think we’re better at accountability than we actually are,” Nischwitz said. “Accountability is about taking personal responsibility for the commitments you make and doing whatever it takes to honor those commitments.”

What accountability is not is telling people what to do.

“We have a false belief that by subtly shaming people they will perform at a higher level,” he said. “That’s the mistake.”

A solid first step in improving personal accountability is changing the language you use. When asked to complete an assignment, rather than using non-committal phrases such as “Sure, I’m on it” or “I’ll take care of it” say, “I’ll commit to it.” The language you use determines your intent.

Nischwitz explains how to achieve true accountability in his Advance Quick Byte On-Demand course Building a Culture of Accountability. Available free to members through Oct. 31, Nischwitz’s course is one of five Quick Byte courses designed to supplement the live Advance road show hosted by OSCPA President and CEO Scott Wiley, CAE. Members may take all five courses and earn two complimentary CPE credits in addition to the four free credits available for the live fall session.

In his course, Nischwitz challenges everyone, but particularly leaders, to be honest with themselves when evaluating how well they make and keep commitments.

“Accountability is a matter of integrity,” Nischwitz said. “When someone makes a clear commitment and then fails to honor it, their integrity is at risk. We need to raise the bar on ourselves and our people by making accountability a matter of integrity.”

Curious and want to learn more? Register for Nischwitz’s course. To view the full list of Quick Byte On-Demand courses and to register for the live tour dates visit

Leave a comment

Upcoming Events