Accountability When Someone Slips

Accountability comes up frequently in conversation. How do we hold our employees accountable? What about the boss? Shouldn’t he or she have to answer for their mistakes also? These topics kept bobbing to the surface over several business seminars and meetings I attended and taught this week.

Something in the human condition drives us to hold others responsible for wrongs — both intentional and unintentional. A wrong according to Merriam-Webster’s means this:

1 a : an injurious, unfair, or unjust act : action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or just cause
b : a violation or invasion of the legal rights of another; especially : tort
2 : something wrong, immoral, or unethical; especially : principles, practices, or conduct contrary to justice, goodness, equity, or law
3 : the state, position, or fact of being or doing wrong: as
a : the state of being mistaken or incorrect
b : the state of being guilty
synonyms see injustice
Examples: any reasonable person should be expected to know the difference between right and wrong, trying to right all the wrongs in the world
Origin: Middle English, from Old English wrang, from *wrang, adjective, wrong.
First use: before 12th century
Synonyms: bad, evildoing, ill, immorality, iniquity, sin, villainy, evil
Antonyms: good, morality, right, virtue

So what happens if we do something wrong on the job, with friends, or at home? How do we regain our footing if we slip? In my decades of studying human behavior, patterns, and positive outcomes between people, I think an ancient Jewish practice gets it right.

Teshuvah is the act of demonstrating regret, sorrow, or repentance. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll explore each step in the acronym I’ve created for a powerful answer to problems in relationship. This amazing tool supports my premise that it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith, in business, in life, and in love.


Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Expert, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri. Contact her via or


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