Bruce Gordon’s accountability ladder

Through the magic of youtube I got to watching a number of clips of this years American State of the Black Union from back in February.  One particularly compelling clip was that of Bruce Gordon, former President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as he described the distinction between personality led organizations and process led organizations and their inherent success.

His words on this speak for themselves and are a key indication of the predicament we find ourselves within in our own country.  We rely far too heavily on personality led politics when we should be striving for process and proper planning.

One other thing I picked up on from this clip was in the comments where there was a plea for a link to his other comments regarding an accountability ladder.  Though I’ve been unable to find a copy of the video, I was able to find a breakdown of this concept recorded on a blog post:

Bruce Gordon, President of the NAACP and a true Black leader, elaborated on what he called an “accountability ladder.” Dr. Gordon described the ladder as an eight rung progression of accountability. The lower four rungs are where those with a “victim mentality” reside; the top four are occupied by “Accountable” or “Empowered” people.

-Victim Mentality-

8. Unconscious/unaware of their situation or problem.

7. Blaming others for their current state.

6. Can’t do anything about it, so why try?

5. Wait and hope the problem is taken care by itself or others.

-Accountable People-

4. “I messed up.” (Admit mistakes)

3. Find a solution.

2. Ask for help, but be willing to go it alone.

1. Make it happen.

From a young age my father used to tell me, “the only person who can stop you from achieving what you truly want is yourself”.  For a man who went from being a poor St. David’s bye that people laughed at for proclaiming he’d become a pilot to one who is recognized by the United Nations as one of a handful of international experts in aviation, I am incredibly thankful to have been taught to live in the upper rungs of the accountability ladder.  I just wish there were more Bermudians willing to as well.

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