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Why does accountability matter and why does it fail?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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We all know by now that accountability is very crucial for any organization’s success. But before we even begin to talk about why it fails, let us first understand why it matters. We have to understand how it can be effective in teamwork, building great team dynamics, and how managers and leadership can be proven beneficial in giving results to the organization.

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Why does accountability matter?

Accountability is critical for any organization’s overall growth and success. In our previous posts, we discussed how accountability affects our teamwork and how personal accountability can aid in improving team dynamics. So, when we have a balanced and goal-driven team working together and have set the standards of accountability at work, they are more effective and proactive. Accountable leadership has proven to drive higher results and bring in managerial effectiveness. Accountability can improve responsible behaviour in individuals as well as team workers. They will always be proactive for any upcoming challenges. Instead of waiting for the problems to occur and then working towards the solutions, the team members will think about the possible situations that might occur and they will also work on the solutions along with them. When you have a proactive team who are prepared for any challenge, then the results produced will always be fruitful.

A leader or manager who takes accountability seriously will be able to mentor their team members in the same way. Their team will be more efficient in producing higher results, as they will all be working towards the same goal. They will be responsible for standing up for their own mistakes, so there will not be any blame game in action. Overall, accountability drives great performance because if the individuals are not accountable, then they cannot understand the importance of working together towards the team goals and targets. Hence, accountability matters to every organization. Now let’s understand why it failed.

Why did it fail?

Accountability has to be accepted and adapted to the nature of every individual working in any organization. They have to be coached and, from time to time, taught about being responsible at work. How it can affect teamwork, how accountable leadership can alter the dynamics of a well-motivated team, and how it can produce fruitful results Let us now look at the various aspects that impacted its failure:

Organizational challenges

When the challenges begin at the level where the organisation fails to explain to the individuals at what level they play their roles and responsibilities when they are not clear about what is expected out of them, how will they be prepared for their role and duties that they are required to perform? They have to know about the limits that they have to work within their roles. What decision-making capabilities does their role come with? All of this can help them perform better, but if these basic performance responsibilities are not made clear to anyone, then no one will be able to perform to their best level. And then the organisation will waste its important time on solving the blame games.

Leadership Challenges

When the leadership or the management are not able to set themselves as the right example for their teams and functions to operate in an accountable manner. They will be regarded as role models by their employees, who will learn work ethics from them. If the leadership is not able to demonstrate this to their team members and staff, then their staff will not be able to adapt to accountability. Another hurdle is when they set unrealistic goals for the teams, then they will definitely not be able to deliver the desired results. Setting too many goals or too high goals will be difficult to match by any productive individual or team.

Communication Challenges:

Communication is the key to any successful working relationship. If you set your clear communication channels and make sure that you communicate properly about what’s expected out of them, then no one will fail. But if the organisation struggles in this area, then accountability will not be practised properly. If the roles and responsibilities shared at each level are not communicated properly, then the organisation will struggle. If the manager is not able to communicate the expectations or the challenges and targets clearly with his team, then the team will struggle.

Feedback challenges

In many posts, we have discussed how important it is to have a feedback culture, but if the organisation fails in adopting a feedback culture, then no one will be able to improve in their respective roles. Apart from that, another challenge is that when the feedback is taken positively by the individual, they will not work towards changes or betterment.


If any organisation wants to move to effective accountability practices, then it must plan for it properly. They will also have to work towards the challenges that they might face and work towards how they can overcome them. We all understand the importance and why accountability matters, and how it can bring positive changes in the team and the overall organization’s success. So, it is equally important for us to understand the challenges that they might face and how they can overcome them.