This weeks news of the Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia, hitting rocks and submerging into the water off the coast of Tuscany was shocking in itself, but when news of the captain leaving the ship as its murky fate was unveiling and that he unassumingly “fell” into a lifeboat as it was leaving, I, and millions of others have been outraged. This got me thinking about taking personal accountability and taking responsibility for your life and actions. Does that even exist in our world anymore?
After hearing about this story and the shady captain, it sure doesn’t seem like it. But, I assure you there is still good in the world. I, personally, believe it is our job to educate our children and future generations to make sure we don’t raise disreputable, unaccountable, and untrustworthy people.
I recently read a book called, The 85% Solution: How Personal Accountability Guarantees Success — No Nonsense, No Excuses, that clearly defines the mindset you need to be accountable for your own fate. This book was exactly the wake up call I needed. The 85% Solution hammers in the reality you need to accept no less than 85% of the responsibility for the outcomes of your actions. The other 15% is purely outside circumstances and situations that you can’t help, or change. Be it someone getting sick, your looks, your surroundings and environment, etc.
You need to take responsibility for anything that happens around you. You contribute to the success around you, and it is your responsibility to make things happen. If you fail, take responsibility, if your company doesn’t win a sale, take responsibility for your contributions and own up to the fact that you contributed to the loss of the sale.
Empower yourself to take the risks and actions necessary to get what you want, and show that you are willing to take responsibility for the outcomes that result from your choices and actions. If your roommate leaves dirty dishes and garbage around, you should take responsibility for the fact that you let it sit there. You are accountable for not contributing to the success of having a clean house or room. Now, I’m not saying do it all yourself. What I am saying is that you need to raise your expectations and standards where you will hold everyone around you accountable for their contributions to your success.
One of my favorite excerpts from the book shows how something you may be blaming on someone else, should be something you need to admit and own up to.
What are you blaming on others: rotten luck, lousy job, money problems, spoiled kids, failed marriage?
Admit it: You are responsible for everything in your life. The choices you have made have resulted in these outcomes.
Own it: Every choice, every behavior, every action you take is yours. They’re nobody else’s fault.
Do it: Commit to accountability. Watch it rock your world.
With 11 people dead and more than 2 dozen people still missing, I am nauseatingly stuck wondering what kind of outcome the cruise ship and its passengers would have had if the captain would have not blamed anyone else, admitted he was wrong, and took full responsibility for his actions? I guess we will never know, but I do know that the captains fate would be a lot better for doing so, and your success and fate will be better as well, when you take responsibility and hold yourself accountable for your success.