The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Accountability by Patrick Lencioni

ACTS – an acrostic for leaders

Dave Kraft is a wise man and was my former leadership coach. In an excellent post he talks about the application of ACTS in a particular situation and this post is a worthwhile read in my opinion.

So, let’s look at ACTS in a general sense and how a leader might apply it to their life.

A – ACCOUNTABLE: Are you truly accountable to someone(s) in your life? Truly accountable? Is someone willing to ask you the hard questions and pursue you until you deal with those questions? Are they willing to challenge questionable behaviors in your life?

C – CONFESSIONAL: Do you confess and own your sin or do you try to shift the blame? Mature leaders accept rebuke, confess their sin, and own their sin.

T – TEACHABLE: Are you teachable as a leader? Are you willing to receive honest inquiries from those you lead? And others? Do you realize that there are many people smarter than you and some of them are on the team you lead?

S – SUSTAINABLE: Is the pace you are setting for your team sustainable? Are your expectations realistic? Are you providing the resources to your team that they need to meet your expectations? What about your team’s work-life balance?

Here is how Dave applies ACTS:

1. Good and genuine accountability, coupled with vulnerability and transparency.
2. A clear value in keeping short accounts, with sin being quickly confessed and owned.
3. An attitude of being teachable and open to new ideas and ways of thinking.
4. A culture of pacing that is realistic and sustainable, resulting in good morale and joy.

Now, how can you apply ACTS in your life?


when life happens – are you accountable or unaccountable?

field - KeelyGood Monday morning to you! Another beautiful weekend, plus we had some visitors from down South who had visited at Life Action Ministries this past week, so it was a very nice time.

I mentioned a book last week that I have been reading – The One Thing. One of the arresting statements in there on page 184 is “When life happens, you can either be the author of your life or the victim of it. Those are your only two choices – accountable or unaccountable. . . Every day we choose one approach or the other, and the consequences follow us forever.

While I may not entirely agree with that expression from a theological viewpoint, I do believe that how we react to the circumstances of our life is hugely important. We can choose to live with the hope we have in Jesus and face our circumstances proactively with cause for great hope and an excitement about the future, or we can become fatalistic and give in to our own weaknesses and miss the joy of growing through our challenging circumstances.

On page 185 of the book, there is a great graph showing the differences between someone with a VICTIM’s mindset and someone with an ACCOUNTABLE mindset.

First the VICTIM‘s approach:


1. Avoids Reality // “Asks no questions.”

2. Fights Reality // “That’s not how I see it.”

3. Blames // “If everyone would just do their job!”

4. Personal Excuses // “It’s not my job.”

5. Waits & Hopes // “If it was meant to be, it’ll happen.”

Now the ACCOUNTABLE person’s approach:


1. Seeks Reality // “What’s happening?”

2. Acknowledges Reality // “This is the way it is.”

3. Owns It // “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

4. Finds Solutions // “What can I do?”

5. Gets On With It // “O. K., let’s do it!”

What is your approach? If it was meant to be, it’ll happen.” or “O. K., let’s do it!“?

I choose – let’s do it!

Have a great week, 
Peace & grace to you,

Accountability Avoidance

“Failing to hold someone accountable is ultimately an act of selfishness.” – Patrick Lencioni

After reading and thinking about that statement, I realized how true it is in my own life.  We talk a lot about conflict avoidance, but it seems that we have a more of a major issue with accountability avoidance – especially on leadership teams.  It seems easier to engage in conflict than accountability.  Why is that?

For me, I realized that on one of the teams I serve on, I was behind on some things and if I called people out on something, then I was subject to being called out.  Not a very noble reason for avoiding accountability is it?  Seems to fit in the selfishness category.

Additionally, there are two types of accountability – one being related to performance and the other related to behavior. The first type is easier – did you make your numbers?  Did you complete your tasks?  And so on.  The harder type – and more important one – is accountability for behavior on the team.  It is harder because it is more subjective and harder for people to handle than conflict.

Accountability for behavior among the members of a leadership team is critical for the success of the team. Lack of preparation for team meetings, failing to engage in meetings, lack of attention to details, lack of discipline in meeting responsibilities, poor attitudes and so on are behaviors that should be addressed by other members of the team.  Side Note:  Peer-to-peer accountability is more effective than accountability from the team leader.  Behavioral issues always precede performance issues and tend to impact the entire team.

Failing to hold others accountable is really an act of selfishness, not an act of kindness.  Why would we want to hold back information that would help one of our team mates grow and become stronger? Do the noble thing and serve one another by holding each other accountable.  You owe it to each other and those that you lead.

Blessings on your week!

An Important Relationship

I am sitting here in one of my favorite small town cafes.  It is one of those places where the staff knows your name, they give you too much food and your coffe cup is never empty.  I come here often for planning and meeting with people.  Right now I am waiting on a good friend that has a special role in my life.

Earlier this week I talked about how important deep relationships are to thriving in life.  One of the important relationships is the person (other than your spouse) that you let into your life that cares enough about you to ask you the hard questions and then ask you what you are going to do about the areas in which you need to grow.

When you do’t have someone you let into your life, we tend to allow behaviors, thought patterns, and etc. to develop and to weigh us down in this race we call life. We all need someone we open up to and then are accountable to as we walk through life.

If you don’t have someone like that in your life – find them.  It will be uncomfortable at first, but worth it.

Have a great weekend – BG

How do You Cope with the Demands of Leadership?

I receive a great devotional online a few times a week entitled Lead Like Jesus. It is short and powerful.

The one I received this morning touched an area that I am increasingly becoming more aware of in its importance to the longevity of leaders.  The basic fact is that we need other people to help us to cope with the heavy demands of leadership  – it is critical to our overall health and effectiveness.

Now you don’t need just anyone obviously.  If you are a leader or aspire to be a leader you need spiritual friendships and partnerships with people that encourage and challenge you in your walk with Christ and in your calling.  Someone(s) that care enough about you to call you out on things when needed and also encourage you.

You also need to be that person for someone else.  Who are you investing in? Challenging? Encouraging? Helping to grow?  If you aren’t investing into someone else, I challenge you to find someone this next week and begin to do so.

I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you —that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:11-12

Have a great weekend,