Living Below The Line

Article | Accountability Insights

by | Feb 13, 2014

The CEO of an extensive network of sales and service centers was faced with the challenge of correcting an eight-year slide in revenue and profitability. His management team had recommended Accountability Training, but the CEO was initially doubtful that such training could fix the company’s problem. Eventually the CEO agreed to a pilot program that involved a few dozen service centers in The Oz Principle Accountability Training  to see what it might produce. Several weeks later all of the pilot service centers were producing revenue and profitability results well above the company’s other service centers. To assess the impact on results for himself, the CEO decided to visit some of the pilot service centers. What he discovered turned out to be life changing for both himself and the company. Here’s how he tells the story:

“A woman, who’d worked for the company for 22 years, came up to me with tears in her eyes, thanking me for the Accountability Training she’d just received because it had changed her life. She said, ‘I have lived Below The Line for 52 years—complaining about my life, thinking everything was outside of my control, blaming other people and events, and assuming I had no way out. After this training, I realized that it was ME who had been making the choice over all those years to live Below The Line. I want you know that I have made a personal vow to never get stuck living Below The Line again.’ Then she gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. That’s when I finally said to myself, if Accountability Training can bring about this sort of fundamental change in our people, it can certainly correct our eight-year slide in revenue and profitability.”

This is exactly what it did over the next several months as the Accountability Training was implemented companywide.

A thin line separates accountability from a lack of accountability, success from failure. Below The Line lies excuse making, blaming others, confusion, and an attitude of helplessness, while Above The Line we find a sense of reality, ownership, commitment, solutions to problems, and determined action. People and organizations find themselves thinking and behaving Below The Line whenever they consciously or unconsciously avoid accountability for individual or collective results. That’s when they get stuck in what we call the blame game or victim cycle, slowly losing their spirit and resolve until finally they feel completely powerless. Only by moving Above The Line and taking the Steps To Accountability can they become powerful again. To learn more about how to avoid getting stuck living Below The Line, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at where you can review actual client case studies.

Accountability Training, The Oz Principle Accountability Training, Above The Line, Below The Line, and Accountability Community are all registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc.