why is accountability important for success?


Kevin Mangelschots

Taking responsibility is the precursor to becoming a trustworthy individual that’s primed for growth. Accountability can be considered a part of our mindset that’s essential to thrive.

How many times have we seen people who refuse to take personal ownership of their own failures and mistakes remaining stuck in the mud, uncapable of evolving their own skill set? Uncountable times.

That’s precisely why accountability is important for success.

Why is accountability important to achieve success?

Illustration of a man scratching their head while holding a yellow question mark.

Developing our abilities

Accountability is important for success since it involves developing multiple abilities that are hard to establish if we aren’t willing to put in the time and effort.

Accepting that we’re in control

This is only possible if we own the fact that we will have to do those things on our own.

If success were to come easily, then the majority of us would attain it. This would impart that success would lose much of its value since it wouldn’t be rare anymore. But the fact of the matter is that most people are average. And if we want to be exceptional, then we will have to do things that the average Joe doesn’t do. One of the most influential ones being taking responsibility.

Being accountable is what allows us to work on our weaknesses and to facilitate our personal strengths. Working on our weak points shouldn’t be understated, since most of us have some key failings that prevent us from being truly exceptional.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Why accountability is important in life

A yellow background with the black quote, “accountability breeds responsibility” written on it.

We’re in control

Accountability is important because ultimately, we’re in charge of our own life. As a result, it’s up to us to make something out of it. To steer it in a direction we’re comfortable going.

The positive thing about this fact is that taking accountability involves having a sense of control over your life. It means that you feel like you control your destiny, rather than simply relying on fate and blind luck.

The downside is that it conveys that we have to take responsibility for the things that aren’t going the way we want to, not to mention for our own failures as well.

This is much harder to do than it seems, since we must admit that we’re not perfect, and that we made our fair share of mistakes along the way. It’s challenging since it’s much easier to blame our issues on an outside source such as other people, or tragic events in life.

Allows us to learn

Taking responsibility for both the good things and bad things that happen in our existence allows us to learn new abilities, and new insights that will enhance our daily livings in the present and future.

It’s difficult, if not entirely impossible, to evolve and develop ourselves when we can’t take accountability for what happens in our lives. That just means that we will continuously blame other people and outside sources instead of faulting ourselves for our own issues and failures. Thus, there’s no real motivator to learn if we don’t take personal ownership.

Why is accountability important in a team

Illustration depicting how several team members refuse to take accountability for their own actions.

Accountability is important in a team because no matter how large the team is, it is still comprised of single individuals.

Everyone needs to do their job to make the team effective and well functioning. If everybody decides to slack off, then things will go awry very quickly. Even if just some members don’t pull their weight, performance will go down the drain real fast.

This applies to many facets in life that involve teamwork such as sports, work, our social circle, and family. Thus, teamwork makes the dream work is appropriate, and true in many cases!

Why is accountability essential in the workplace?

Illustration saying, “together we achieve more”.

It’s indispensable in the workplace because even big companies with large groups of employees rely on taking individual responsibility to make things work like a well oiled machine.

If nobody thinks they should carry their own weight, and that someone else will take over their part, then nothing will go right, and the workplace becomes a mess until it eventually goes down under.

That’s why individual accountability is key in the workplace, and in everything we do in life, to become thriving.

Why is accountability important in society

Accountability is important in society because it’s made up of uncountable individuals.

As such, each individual needs to take personal ownership and responsibility in order to create and maintain a well functioning, peaceful, and cooperative society.

The trap that a lot of people fall victim to is thinking that their individual contribution doesn’t matter. Either because they truly believe so, or because it’s convenient to them since they don’t need to take responsibility for their actions in life if their decisions didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Regardless, if the majority thinks that way, then no work will get done, and progress will stagnate, or even regress.

That’s why everyone should be accountable for their own actions, not to mention that it will stimulate others to do so as well. Never underestimate the power of yourself, nor of the impact your actions can have to motivate others.

If each single individual would motivate just one person to do better, then society would be much better off as a whole.

Why is accountability important in a democracy?

How accountability influences democracy and vice versa.

Since the people in power that govern society are chosen by the individuals of society, it’s the personal duty of each individual that’s of age to take the responsibility of making responsible, sensible, and well-informed voting decisions.

If everyone that gets to vote thinks their personal vote doesn’t matter since society consists of such a vast amount of individuals, then the voting will not be fair nor representative of what the population truly thinks.

Not to mention that it is of utmost importance to each of us personally who gets to govern us since we need to live under that regime.

Likewise, the government has (or should always have) a duty to its people as well. In return for this trust they receive from the citizens, they should be transparent about the goals they’re trying to accomplish. But nobody is perfect. And as such, failure is expected.

What matters is that they take responsibility for all the good things they accomplish, but especially for all the mistakes and failures that will inevitably happen. That’s what someone who’s responsible, honest, and trustworthy would do.

Why is accountability important in a relationship?

No matter if your relationship is based on romantics, friendship, or even business, it takes two to make it work. Just one individual putting in all the time and effort in the world will not be enough to sustain the kinship. And eventually, that relationship will still fail.

That’s why both parties are partly responsible to build, but also to maintain, a long-lasting relationship.

Good relationships involve responsibility, trust, honesty, empathy, among many other critical life skills.

Why is accountability a key quality?

Image of a golden key in front of a black background.

It’s a key quality, since there’s ultimately only one person that’s responsible for our own life, and that is ourselves.

All the positives and negatives that go on in our existence are the result of our own decisions and actions. Thus, taking accountability is the first step towards forging a better life and future for ourselves.

If we continually place control in the hands of external sources, then we effectively hand over the ownership of our own lives to other people. This would mean that there’s nothing we can personally do to change our own destiny.

Thus, taking responsibility is required if we wish to forge our own path in life that best aligns with our personal goals, dreams, and capabilities.

What are the benefits of taking accountability?

The sentence, “blessings of accountability” written in front of a background.

  • Makes you a responsible individual

    One of the benefits of taking accountability is that ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own life. Not only for the sake of themselves, but for society as a whole.

    When you’re a responsible individual, you’re seen as trustworthy, confident, and perhaps most important of all, you have ownership and control over your own existence.

    Thus, it will improve your relationships with others, while also allowing you to move your life in a direction that’s right for you, and that causes you to experience your best life possible.

  • Promoting ownership

    Promoting ownership over your own life is always a good thing. This means you can steer your existence in the direction you personally want to.

    While the advantage of taking accountability is getting to choose your own path, it has an indispensable downside as well.

    It means you are responsible for all the good fortune that comes your way, but this includes your failures and bad decisions as well. This signifies that it’s hard taking ownership of our mistakes instead of blaming it on outside sources such as other people and tragic events.

  • Minimizes self-pity

    Self-pitying leads to nowhere. Ultimately, it literally possesses no purpose other than feeling sorry for oneself, making yourself miserable, and making others pity you. Perhaps that pity gives you the attention you desire, but it will not better your life in the end.

    But if you feel like you’re in charge of your own life and consequently of what you do, then you shouldn’t pity yourself because you put yourself in the bad positions of your existence yourself.

    This also wills that whatever hurdles life is throwing on your path, it’s up to you to overcome them since you have the means to do so.

  • Creates a sense of control over your life

    Having a sense of control over your life is essential to have the hope that’s required to improve your own life.

    It also aids to become more skilled in abilities such as discipline, confidence, persistence, and going through hardships. Because in the end, you’re responsible for your own well-being. That’s why it’s in your own best interest to be a capable individual.

  • Prevents learned helplessness

    Learned helplessness occurs when we lose our sense of control. It typically happens when we feel like whatever we do has no impact on the end result.

    It often occurs when people take over tasks that we could do ourselves. This makes us feel helpless and weak. It can be the result of both good, but also bad intentions.

    Learned helplessness should be combated by taking ownership and responsibility. This means you must muster up the much-needed courage to undertake new challenges, and to accept that failure is part of the learning process that will permit you to evolve as a person, making you better in the procedure.

  • Helps you to try out new things

    When you are responsible, then you know you have to improve as a human being yourself in order to maximize your existence.

    Knowing that what you do can actually impact your life will make you much more likely to attempt new things that might lead to new insights, better knowledge, and becoming more competent.

    This means that being accountable assists you to try out new things that might benefit you in the present and/or future.

  • Allows us to improve

    Illustration of a red sign reading, “improve” with a red arrow aiming upwards.

    It allows us to improve since we understand that what we do in life really matters, no matter how insignificant it might seem at first glance.

    Not only that, but when we realize that we are responsible for our own happiness and misery, then we’re much more incentivized to improve and put our best foot forward.

    It’s hard to improve when we constantly feel like we have no control over our life because of other people, and outside events decided by luck and fate. But fortunately, this isn’t all true. Although those things can certainly play a part, but typically not to the degree some people claim.

  • Aids to track progress

    Being a responsible individual means we have to track our own progress to see if we’re getting the outcomes we desire.

    Because why would you keep count of your progress if nothing you do matters or has any influence whatsoever on the way your world looks like?

    Tracking progress helps to reach our goals and dreams. Measuring is knowing. And having something objective to refer to is always a plus to track how you’re doing in life. It isn’t pliable, like our thoughts and memory sometimes are.

  • Increases confidence

    Picture of a person cutting the letter T of the sentence “I can't do it” with a pair of scissors.

    Being responsible means you have to do many things yourself that involves bettering yourself and those around you.

    This’ll make you much more likely to be a confident individual, since that’s essential to become capable and responsible.

    It’s very hard to be confident when you don’t feel that what you do matters or leaves any impact on your own world, and that of others.

  • Creates trust

    Confident people radiate an air of trust. Because people who truly believe in something are extremely hard to stop, since they just won’t quit. Others will notice this, and trust you as a result.

    Knowing that you hold yourself accountable will make you feel peaceful, and trusting of yourself. That’s because you actually know what you’re capable of and that you do truly have the capacity to influence significant portions of your existence and that of others, regardless if you’re just one person or not.

  • Decreases conflict

    Being responsible decreases conflict by generally being more confident, which decreases the need for mindless squabbling to prove a point or to be right.

    Another important vector is that tensions will be much lower when everyone does their part compared to if others slack off, or don’t do their work at all.

    When people notice that others don’t take their responsibility, or that they have special rules/privileges, is when tensions tend to heat up. That’s why it’s so crucial that every single one of us carries their own weight.

  • Aids to build connections

    Confident people are more likely to build meaningful relationships with others, since confidence attracts. Not to mention that accountable individuals are honest and trustworthy as well. Both of which we value greatly when trying to bond with others.

    People don’t like weak pushovers, they respect people who are strong, responsible, and confident.

    When we know we control our own destiny is when we will actively seek out folks that are beneficial, and good to us. We don’t want to waste our time putting time and effort in those who don’t mean the best for us. That’s pointless, and an utter waste of energy.

What’s accountability?

Image describing what accountability is.
Accountability conveys the inclination or duty to accept responsibility for your own actions.

This includes the willingness to accept the positive and negative consequences of your behavior as well.

Final note

Holding yourself accountable is vital to become a responsible individual. And being responsible will improve your own life, and that of others as a result of becoming the best possible version of yourself. Thus, society as a whole will benefit from each member improving and evolving.

The downside is that you will have to take ownership for all your victories, happiness, but also your failures and bad decisions as well. The reason being is that we can’t blame our mishappening on external sources such as fate, luck, or other people if we wish to be in control of our own destiny.

Regardless, that’s a small price to pay for having ownership, a sense of control, improvement, less suffering, and many more beneficial things in your life.