Accountability – the Decisive Element

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I have the great honor of bringing leadership training to 8th graders at the Camellia Waldorf School in Sacramento ( We always start with the above quote.

I wonder, though, how many adults get this as well – truly get that we are the source. We are the “decisive element.”

“If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” People often act out of an unconscious “drift.” It takes a certain type of human to see that when I act in my drift, I am not being my truest and best self. 8th graders are a great example. They can be rude and seem disrespectful. They are trying on some behaviors that many people find distasteful. It was a challenge for me when I started this work with last year’s 8th grade. Until I chose to look for in them a quality of understanding, a quality of compassion. Which I found. Which I had missed, because it did not arise the way I thought it should or look how I thought it would. So I had not seen it. And when I realized it was there, I began to treat them as respectful and compassionate humans. Interestingly, they began to act the same. When I saw them, truly saw them, they changed.

The same is true at work. And at home. You can change your relationships in a variety of ways. And when your relationships change, everything changes.

We have much more power than we think we do.

Look closely and deeply at people. Because you are the decisive element.


And if you want to learn more about your ability to be the “decisive element,” come to our accountability training in February.

Accountability is the foundation to sustainable change. Until we embrace true accountability, it is difficult to achieve what we are after. Accountability in the organization improves productivity, efficiency and morale.

Our definition of accountability is non-punitive. It is a way of looking at your choices and your results so you can learn and make different choices in the future. This type of accountability is empowering. It is the key to success – in the organization and everywhere.

Outcomes from Accountability Training

· Introduction to and adoption of, a new definition of accountability

· New awareness and tools to improve accountability in your organization

*The value of personal accountability for the individual

*The value of personal accountability for your organization

*The value of seeing choices in all situations

*How to see choices in all situations

*Learning from mistakes and making different choices in the future

· An awareness of language and how it contributes to accountability vs. victimhood

· A specific model for taking personal accountability

· Practice with the model of accountability and learning

· Brainstorming specific ways to bring accountability to your organization

· Action steps for bringing accountability to your organization

Date:  February 12, 2019, Tuesday, 9am-12pm

Cost: $139. $130/person where more than one person registers from the same organization

Location:  Sierra 2 Center, Sacramento

To register:

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

Get Our Newsletter
Recent Posts

Thoughts and Feelings

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” -William James This is a lesson I learn over and over again. We have choice in what we decide to think about. Is this a radical notion to you? Or just...

Read More
Ranger Kielak

Coach Highlight – Ranger Kielak

CM: Why did you enter TCE? And/or, what did you want to get out of it? RK: I entered TCE because I saw how valuable it was to be coached by a current student in the course. I saw my relationship improve, my mindset shift...

Read More
McLaren Coaching | Take A Break

Take A Break

I love this quote by Annie Lamott. Not just because I love Annie Lamott so much, but also because it’s just so true. When my printer doesn’t work, I unplug it. When my zoom doesn’t work, I log out and back in. This works 90%...

Read More

Coach Highlight – Sylvia Fox

CM: Why did you enter TCE? And/or, what did you want to get out of it? SF: I made the decision to join TCE to learn more about myself and show up differently in my relationships, especially with my family. I knew two friends who...

Read More

Share this Post