What Is Accountability (Accountability Vs Responsibility)

What Is Accountability

Those who use accountability in their lives seems to attract and manifest things in this life that the average person simply doesn’t.

They may have always used it, or consciously or subconsciously sought it out because of it’s power.

You may be wondering what is accountability and how it can help you achieve more success.

Well today, my friends, I get into the explanation as well as the ways you can use accountability to achieve your aspirations. Along with some quotes, because I am a self professed quote addict!


Interpretation & Definition of Accountability 

Websters dictionary sites the definition of accountability as:

Obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities; accept responsibility for them.

To me my own interpretation of what accountability means is that to be held to a certain standard. This can be by your friends, family or simply with yourself through your morals, standards, goals setting or having a mastermind group.

It is keeping you in check and better yet on track, for getting what you want in this life. When we are held accountable for our actions, I truly believe we operate at a higher level.

Because we have someone to answer to. We don’t want to fail that person almost as much if not more than we don’t want to fail ourselves. In both your personal and professional life.

In a sense, it can almost make you feel obligated about the consequences of not doing something. So this sense of obligation can be a very positive driving factor in the accomplishment of what you are being held accountable to do.

This can also be seen as a sense of duty that you have to embark on in. When we have a great sense of duty that we ultimately fulfill, our lives can drastically change forever.

So to more or less sum up what accountability is, in a big sense, taking accountability is being a in leadership role. Whether you are leading yourself or leading others. The blame or the fame, so to say, falls up You.

At the end of the day, the one who is assuming accountability is the running back who has the football. They will be celebrated massively if they score, but if they fumble the ball, it is entirely their fault and they have to reap the repercussions.

The repercussions can be us being deeply dissatisfied with ourselves for not reaching our goal (internal) or it can be that we don’t make or mortgage one time and lose our house (external).

Both internal and external rewards or repercussions are always involved for the one who is being held accountable. If we obtain our goal we are celebrated and feel a sense of pride, if we lose then we feel demoralized and have to pay the price of not achieving our goal.

3 Types of Accountability – Accountability Examples 

Personal Accountability 

This can relate to marriages, for example. A great article called mutual accountability in the context of love gives a great example of what relationship accountability consists of.

If a husband crosses the lines in a relationship through the likes unintentionally disrespecting their wife through not texting her that he will be home from work late when he knows his wife prepared a nice dinner from them, the wife needs to communicate that fact and the husband needs to work on never doing that act again. And vice versa. The husband is held accountable for his actions by working on never doing that again.

Also, as we will talk about later, accountability is taken not received. This means that the husband needs to take accountability himself in order to right his wrongs.

Professional Accountability 

When it comes to being accountable in the workplace, an example of this can be related to a project manner who is being held accountable for the teams actions. If the team doesn’t perform as a whole and meet the project deadline, the consequences fall on the project manager.

This can be true for the Captain of a baseball team. They take on the leadership role of being accountable for the team, winning or losing. If they win, the captain is celebrated for how far he has taken his team. He is given a raise and possible an MVP trophy. If his team comes in dead last, then he may not have a job the next year, on that team at least.

Goals Accountability 

The fact of the matter is that when you set goals, you are far more likely to accomplish them if you have someone keeping you accountable for doing so. The person we commit your goals to is the accountability partner. But we are the one being held accountable by our accountability partners for the accomplishment or lack thereof of our goals.


Accountability Examples (Conclusion)

At the end of the day, accountability is something we assume, but like anything else in life, we can’t do things alone. Although a lot more responsibility lies in the hands of the one who is accountable. Most of the time, through the likes of coaching or mastermind groups, we can use accountability to take bigger action.

To be inspired to do so as well as have reprocussions for not doing so. Which, fortunately and unfortunately we are driven in this life to avoid consequences, not seek pleasure. We are driven by our fears, for good or for bad. A person who really maximizes the potential of accountability is clear on the consequences and uses them to push them to succeeding.

Accountability, as we can see is crucial in the attainment of our goals as well as keeping us on top of creating healthy relationships.

Accountability Synonyms

Here are a new accountability synonyms by Power Thesaurus:

  • Responsibility
  • Reliability
  • Duty
  • Moral Obligation
  • Anserability
  • Blameworthiness
  • Amenability
  • Liability
  • Due
  • Commitment
  • Indebtedness
  • Legal Responsibility
  • Province
  • Oversight

Accountability In A Sentence(s)

John is taking accountability for the financial teams actions.


Alcoholics Anonymous is a group where Erin would have some accountability for her actions involved with staying sober.


Eric made way better choices in his life after Sue brought him accountability through their friendship.


The lack of accountability in the financial division resulted in people not taking their job serious.

Accountability VS Responsibility 

“Give someone responsibility and they will do their best. Make them accountable and they will do even better.” – Simon Sinek

A clear distinction is defined as the difference between accountability and responsibility in the book called The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability. The distinction is heavily indentified in the quote:

“Responsibility may be bestowed, but accountability must be taken. In other words, responsibility can be given or received, even assumed but that doesn’t automatically guarantee that personal accountability will be taken. Which means that it’s possible to bear responsibility for something or someone but lack accountability.”

A great article on the subject talks about how you responsibility can be delegated to people all day long, but the delegator must assume accountability for those actions.

Which in my own words, responsibility comes from more of an external driving force or forces. Where as accountability comes from internal driving forces.

How To Find A Great Accountability Partner

There is an awesome article that talks about 10 Steps to finding a great accountability partner, some of these tips include:

  1. Think about what motivated you in the first place to find accountability. Are you seeking an accountability partner because you have been working too much and neglecting your family?
  2. Find someone trustworthy. Someone who can bring your relationship confidentiality.
  3. Seek out someone who will challenge you but not condemn you. They will challenge you to live you life with integrity. They will take their role as you accountability partner very seriously.
  4. Figure out how much you guys need to meet or talk that will enable both of you to achieve your goals. If you need to adjust how much you are seeing each other, than do so.
  5. Communicate how your partner can challenge you. Be brutally and unappologeticaly honest.

Also, you want to make sure that you two are very similar in many ways so you can see eye to eye. But enough difference to where you both can bring different perspectives to each other to help each other grow.

The best way to find a great accountability partner is to be one to the person that you are working with. Give one hundred percent to helping your partner accomplish their goals and demand the same from your partner.

Whatever type of mindset you are in, find someone who is similar. For one is fed up as hell with being 20lbs overweight, and they are sick and tired of being sick and tired, then find someone who is in the same mindset with one of their goals.

This way you both will see eye to eye, feel each others pain and essentially “get” the person more so than if one of

 37 Accountability Quotes

  1. “Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey

  2. “At the end of the day we are accountable to ourselves – our success is a result of what we do.” – Catherine Pulsifer

  3. “Personal accountability, requires mindfulness, acceptance, honesty and courage.” – Shelby Martin

  4. “Accountability separates the wishers in life form the action-takers that care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.”-  John Di Lemme

  5. “The winners are those who learn to take full responsibility for their actions. The losers are those who blame others for their failures.”

  6. “Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” – Bob Proctor

  7. “The world accounting comes from the word accountability. If you are going to be rich, you need to be accountable for your money.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki

  8. “Accountability is essential to personal growth, as well as team growth. How can you improve if you’re never wrong? If you don’t admit a mistake and take responsibility for it, you’re bound to make the same one again.” – Pat Summitt

  9. “Accountability turns pain into peace.”

  10. “Accept responsibility for your actions. Be accountable for your results. Take ownership of your mistakes.”

  11. “Good men are bound by conscience and liberated by accountability.” – Wes Fossler

  12. “Holding your team accountable isn’t an exercise in control. It’s an exercise in empowerment.”

  13. “Accountability it is not only what we do, but also what we do not do for which we are accountable.” – Moliere

  14. “Creating a culture of integrity and accountability generates a respectful, enjoyable and life giving setting in which to work.” – Tom Hanson

  15. ‘Take accountability. Blame is the water in which many dreams and relationships drown.” – Steve Marboli

  16. “You can’t talk about leadership without talking about responsibility and accountability. You can’t separate the two. A leader must delegate responsibility and provide the freedom to make decisions and then be held accountable for the results.” – Buck Rodgers

  17. “Accountability is a key concept in moving an organization forward.” – Cindy Tucker

  18. “Neither age nor experience matters when it comes to being personally accountable for any and all outcomes.” – Kory Livingstone

  19. “Accountability – Actions toward or involving others that reflect the integrity of the person you want to be.”

  20. “At the end of the day we are accountable to ourselves – our success is a result of what we do.” – Catherine Pulsifer

  21. “Let’s tart taking accountability. Dysfunction and drama isn’t love and it should not be welcomed if you want a healthy relationship.”

  22. “Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action-takers that care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.” – John Di Lemme

  23. “You either make yourself accountable or you will be made accountable for your circumstances.”

  24. “Neither age nor experience matters when it comes to being personally accountable for any and all outcomes.” – Kory Livingstone

  25. “It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do for which we are accountable.” – John Baptis Molidre

  26. “You can assign tasks but you can’t force people to be accountable. Accountability is an act of will.”

  27. “Great companies have high cultures of accountability, it comes with this culture of criticism I was talking about before, and I think out culture is strong on that.” – Steve Ballmer

  28. “A culture of accountability makes a good organization great and great organization unstoppable.” – Henry Evans

  29. “No individual can achieve worth goals without accepting accountability for his or her own actions.” – Dan Miller

  30. “Trust, honesty, humility, transparency and accountability are the building blocks of a positive reputation. Trust is the foundation of any relationship.” – Mike Paul

  31. “Accountability in friendship is the equivalent of love without strategy.” – Anita Brookner

  32. “Life is not accountable to us, we are accountable to it.” – Denis Waitley

  33. “When accountability is inconsistent in application, it becomes nothing more than thinly-veiled blame-game.

  34. “Responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have.” – Pat Summitt

  35. “Accountability at every level is critical and leadership begins at the top.” – Mary Lanrieu

  36. “The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency authenticity and accountability.” – Simon Mainwaring

  37. “Children that aren’t taught accountability for their actions grow up to become adults that think nothing they do is wrong.”

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