“We must exchange the philosophy of excuse for the philosophy of responsibility.” — Barbara Jordan

Holding people responsible and accountable on the one hand and blaming and accusing them on the other are not the same. Holding someone responsible is a performance standard. Holding them accountable is a performance expectation. Alternatively, blaming and accusing imply negative opinions and perceptions of the individual.

To blame someone or accuse them represents a pejorative assessment of them. Blaming and accusing are always subjective and personal while responsibility and accountability are performance elements that can be objectively evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted. Since other people are accountable for their performance, the level of responsibility extended to them may be increased or decreased, depending on their performance. To blame or accuse are counterproductive. Holding people responsible and accountable are key elements in your approach with people. It starts with holding yourself responsible and accountable and then simply extending the principle to other people.