Clyde Haberman’s column in today’s NY Times about the alleged doctoring of Mayoral Candidate’s C. Virginia Fields’ campaign photo to depict her as resonating with a diverse population provides a dead-on discussion about accountability, or the lack thereof. The photo in question was doctored, and the faces of white people replaced with those of people of color. When the deception was revealed, Fields blamed her top advisor who, in turn, blamed Fields.
What’s become of accountability? From Bernie Ebbers and Ken Lay to Barry Bonds and Karl Rove, no one seems to accept responsibility for their actions anymore. Beyond being a bad thing, it’s also dumb. I believe accountability can be a huge factor in successfully differentiating an individual or an institution. Think about it. There are so few people who accept responbsibility for their actions nowadays that those who do will break through the clutter. Being accountable isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing.