We recently conducted a workshop for one of our existing clients. The brief given to us was that whenever team members encountered a problem or an obstacle, instead of looking at ways to overcome them or deal with problems, they often indulged in a blame game, finger pointing, attitude of helplessness, and consciously or unconsciously avoided accountability for individual or collective results. \u00a0It instantly reminded us of this video, which shows the same behavior: We spoke to a few participants before the workshop and realized that while most of the team members cared for the team\u2019s performance, they were unconsciously stuck below the line (see image below). \u201cBelow the Line\u201d is a concept from a book The Oz Principle, which is based on an enthralling story of The Wizard of Oz. Even the most ardent admirers of this story often fail to learn its simple lessons: Don\u2019t get stuck on the yellow brick road. Don\u2019t blame others for your circumstances; don\u2019t wait for wizards to wave their magic wands; and don\u2019t expect all your problems to disappear. In today\u2019s complex environment, it\u2019s easy to demonstrate all these behaviors and fall below the line. We understood the core issue and designed a 2-day workshop based on The Oz Principle, which explains how these people can become a high performing team by moving Above the Line and climbing the Steps to Accountability. Let\u2019s look at each of these Above the Line Behaviors or Steps to Accountability in detail. Mustering the Courage to SEE IT: Ex\u2013Intel CEO Andy Grove asked his partner Gordon Moore, \u201cIf we were kicked out of the company, what do you think the new CEO would do?\u201d They reasoned that a new leader would feel no emotional attachment to the declining memory chip business, and would probably leave it behind. Grove and Moore did likewise, as they shifted Intel\u2019s focus to microprocessors. Grove and Moore\u2019s decision to face some harsh realities and take their company to new direction showed the world that the willingness to SEE IT pays off and pays off handsomely, if you can muster the necessary courage, heart, and wisdom to accept it. On the other hand, we know the fate of the companies like Nokia, Blackberry, Kodak, and IBM who refused to SEE IT and acknowledge the changes happening around them and had to face the consequences. \tRecognize when you fall Below the Line \tAcknowledge and accept REALITY Finding the Heart to OWN IT: There is an old adage, \u201cif you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.\u201d Well, ownership implies that, \u201cif you are not part of the problem, you are not part of the solution.\u201d Indian cricket test captain Virat Kohli scores a century in a 1-day match and after he gets out the entire team collapses and team loses the match. It\u2019s easy for Virat to put the blame on others and say he did his part by scoring a century and other batsmen did not support him. However, during a post match press conference when asked, \u201cwhat has the team learnt from this,\u201d Virat replied by saying that he takes the responsibility for the defeat as he should not have got out and should have taken the team to victory. Accountable people accept whatever ways in which their own behavior contributes to the situation and set about overcoming those circumstances, no matter how difficult. Just because Virat Kohli has taken the responsibility does that mean he is never supposed to get out in that situation? Well, no we can\u2019t expect that, but because he has admitted his mistakes, and he will practice harder in the nets to overcome that situation in the next match. Owning our circumstances gives us strength to overcome the powerlessness that comes from being a victim and allows us to move forward and achieve more satisfying results in life. \tDon\u2019t let yourself off the hook! \tOwn the whole reality and admit mistakes! Obtaining the wisdom to SOLVE IT: The \u201cSolve It\u201d attitude and behavior stem from continually asking the question, \u201cWhat else can I do?\u201d By constantly and rigorously asking this question, you avoid slipping back into the victim cycle whenever events occur that would otherwise seem to block the road to results Take a look at an example of SR Rao, who did his job differently from other municipal commissioners before him and transformed Surat to make it India\u2019s second cleanest city, in 20 years flat. With no additional resources and no directive handed to him, he went about his job and shifted the orbit of the entire city. When he took the charge as Surat\u2019s commissioner in 1995, he inherited the city that has been afflicted with a disease of plague. When Rao asked his colleagues about the reason for city\u2019s filthy situation, they complained, \u201cPeople are bad, citizens are bad, and they throw garbage on the streets, it\u2019s part of the genetic make up of the population here.\u201d But Rao challenged the status quo with a SOLVE IT attitude and brought down 22,000 malarial deaths in the city to 0 in 5 years. \tWhat else can I do? Take initiatives \t\u00a0Fully commit yourself to stay Above the Line during problem solving! \tThink differently \tPersist Exercising the means to DO IT: Ultimately accountability means accepting the full responsibility to achieve results and DO IT. If you don\u2019t DO IT, you\u2019ll never reap the most valuable benefit of full accountability: overcoming your circumstances and achieving the results you want. In his parting speech, Nokia\u2019s ex-CEO ended it by saying, \u201cwe didn\u2019t do anything wrong, but somehow we lost.\u201d I feel they lost because they didn\u2019t do anything when the world was changing around them. \tEmbrace your full responsibility for results \tEmpower your team to take risks We hope you have identified where you and your team members stand currently \u2013 Above the Line or Below The Line. You can begin to promote The Oz Principle by encouraging your team to climb out of the victim cycle and ascend the Steps To Accountability. Let us know if this type of team session would benefit you and your team today. Do share your feedback with us in the comments below.