Turning and Churning Over Accountability

If you follow me and were on Twitter last night, you know that I was watching the Michigan State of the State Address by our sitting Governor, Rick Snyder. Being a lover of politics I can get a bit wrapped up in debates, hot topics, panels and addresses and last night was no different.

One of the things I was looking for was accountability from the Governor. In particular, in regards to Flint and the #FlintWaterCrisis. Having called Flint home for over 10 years during my formative best years, it has a pull on me. I was scathing in my Tweets and expectations as were many others and rightly so. The leader of the state should take responsibility for what goes on in their state and “under their watch”.

After the #MISOTS16 was over and I got over the #SMH moment of seeing Sarah Palin endorse Donald Trump, I started thinking about accountability and me.

I began to wonder if I were/am/would be able to hold myself to the level of accountability as a leader as I expected of the Governor. To me, I shouldn’t expect more from my leaders than what I would expect from myself.


I thought about a few other situations going on around me where accountability (or lack thereof) is a factor and found myself asking questions.

What do I define as accountability? Where should accountability be applied to and to whom and when?  What should trigger the responsibility of accountability? Is there a difference between accountability and “falling on the sword”? How far should accountability go? And of course, I’m reflecting on how do I example and develop accountability with my students and fraternity brothers I work with?

I have none of these answers. But looking to my future, as a (hopefully) leader in my field, at whichever institution I work at, my fraternity, etc, I’ve realized that I should understand my definition and practice of accountability. I can’t expect others to be accountable when I am not accountable. A leader leads by example. Accountability absolutely requires humility, practice, willingness to put yourself out there and understanding of one’s self, but its is a requirement of all leaders. A person cannot lead without accountability. That is the one thing I have come to a conclusion to within the whirlwind of questions.

So while the #MISOTS16 may have made me want to thrown my computer at my television at points in time, in the long run it was a great #MISOTS16 to help me develop and think about my own leadership and accountability comprehension and practices and get my wheels turning and churning.

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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