Living Our Values
Acting with Integrity and Personal Accountability
At Ohio State, we define Acting with Integrity and Personal Accountability as, “We accept responsibility for our actions, we keep our word, we focus on solutions rather than fault and blame, and we take initiative to make things happen.”
Integrity and personal accountability help us increase effectiveness, leading to strong results at the individual level. As individual results increase, the university’s results become stronger.
While the concepts are simple, it’s not uncommon for our levels of integrity and accountability drop at times. When they do, it’s often due to unseen forces, such as gravity issues (or those issues we can’t do anything about), having a victim mentality, not seeing things clearly due to our filters, and having a negative mindset. Understanding what’s getting in the way can help overcome it.
Ask yourself these questions to strengthen integrity and accountability:
- What’s my level of accountability? When you aren’t achieving the results you expected, stop and think about how accountable you are at the moment. Are you accepting full responsibility for your role? Define your level of accountability, and identify ways you can take more responsibility. The Accountability Ladder is one tool that can help you do this.
- What more can I do achieve results? When you hit a roadblock or don’t achieve the results you expected, it can be easy to say, “I did my part,” or “She didn’t get me the data on time,” or “That’s just the way Ohio State works.” While there are things out of your control, there almost always is something you can do to help success. Follow up if you haven’t received a report. Offer to help if someone is struggling to complete their part of a project. Think about what information could help others succeed.
- What’s limiting my accountability? At times, things can get in the way of accountability. Some common barriers include gravity issues (or those issues we can’t do anything about), a victim mentality, filters, and a negative mindset or low mood. Identify what’s preventing you from taking accountability, and counteract it.
- What story does my shadow tell? Whether you think about it or not, people are constantly watching your actions. As people watch you, they form opinions – right or wrong – about you as an individual, and your college/unit. When you receive poor service, that reflects on the organization as a whole. Look at your actions objectively, and imagine what story your shadow tells.
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