Perspectives on Being Accountable

Submitted by Liz Weaver on April 27, 2012 - 6:19am
Your life can substantially change when you consider accountability

This morning began as so many, with an email from my favourite thought guru - Seth Godin and The Domino Project.  Seth is one of those remarkable people who can stir your creativity or have you consider your work and life from different perspectives. 

Today, the email contained a link to a very interesting and compelling ebook by Bassam Tarazi called The Accountability Effect.  The Book your Excuses don't Want you to Read.  If you have 15 minutes, take the time to download and read this book. 

Bassam challenges us to consider to whom we are accountable and what is driving our decisions.  The book contains sections which ask you to consider your own life including your work and hobbies, your commitment to taking care of yourself, and both what is driving you and who controls you.  The final section is called 'Comfort Kills' and exhorts each of us to consider the potential that we have to embrace the accountability we have to living a life with purpose and drive. 

The Accountability Effect is a simple book but one that provokes deep reflection.  Thanks Bassam for this work. 

If you read The Accountability Effect, let me know what thoughts it provoked in you by commenting below. 


death and accountability

Hi Liz,


This simple book invokes a lot of powerful reflections, I am excited to read part 2. What struck out in the book was when Bassam asks the following questions.


If you were to die tomorrow what would your gravestone say?

Here lies _____________________. (S)He was a person who _____________________.


Think about it. Keep thinking about it. If you could write your own obituary, what would it say? What legacy would you leave behind? Though our bodies don’t live on, our teachings, influence and legacies can.

These are very deep and powerful questions for every individual wanting to engage whole heartedly in their life, their community and their society, in a meaningful way. These are also questions that really encourage us to look beyond our immediate reality and see that our actions, behaviours and decisions affect not only those around us, but future generations.

Generating dialogue is such a core practice in community building. Death is something that is very much taboo to talk about in our society. I think we need to start generating dialogue about death in our society, and in our communities. I actually think dialogue about death in general, will encourage accountability.  I know that sounds morbid and I use to be so uncomfortable talking about death (I still am a little). However, talking to some of the elders I have met, about death and mortality, has really awakened me to take seriously those very questions Bassam asks in the book. At the age of 27, and the privileges of being in good health… my funeral, my obituary, and my legacy I want to leave behind are things that didn’t use to cross my mind, until recently. After being really immersed in dialogue about ageing and wisdom with elders, I think of these questions every day, and reflect on my own behaviours and decisions I make.

These questions are not something I understand you just reflect on once, and move on. But questions you ask yourself every day to guide you to be mindful in the decision, actions and behaviors we make. When we talk more about death, I think we come to be more conscious of how to live, and start to sort out what is important and what is not. For example, in our society what seems to define our personal identities are our careers, and many times we fail to nurture those very relationships that really highlight what a “good life” means.

When we talk more about death, and start to generate dialogue about it. We explore more of these questions, and those deep reflections can start to influence our day-to-day lives, the decisions we make, the values we adopt, what relationships to nurture, what hobbies to take on, what job to keep or not keep, etc. By keeping death as a close friend, I think we also live life more with accountability in mind.

Thank you for sharing the link, I posted it on my facebook and twitter!