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Accountability and Transparency Question/Answer from an Anonymous Facebook Blogger

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Here is another questions from the personal blog. As usual the question/answer as exactly as posted on the blog.

Question: “Accountability” and “Transparency” seem to be the latest buzzwords in politics. What does that mean to you and how will you apply these words, if at all, to your department?

Don's answer: Accountability to me is the ability to take ownership of my decisions and actions and not blame others when things don’t work out. Have I made mistakes in my career? Yes. will I make mistakes in the future? The answer is yes again. But with mistakes come the opportunity to learn from them so that better choices can be made in the future. What I teach my staff is that no one is perfect and some mistakes will be made as people grow and develop in their careers; it is how a person handles their mistakes that determines what they learn from the situation. Even if some form of corrective action needs to be taken due to a questionable decision, what should be taken away from the experience is the knowledge gained.

Transparency can take many forms, it can be how a person interacts with others in an open and honest manner creating the opportunity for mutual respect and growth, or it can be in the form of how an organization interacts openly with the public or other community partners. Transparency should not only be when the organization is sharing the positive things that occur; true transparency comes when the organization is willing to share with the public when things do not go as planned, without having to be asked about it first. One of the greatest lessons I learned at the FBI National Academy’s Public Relations course was to ensure that we are transparent in all things, both good and bad. This will create deeper public trust so when there is a major issue that comes up, you have already established that you will tell it like it is and not hide anything. If trust is not established first, the public is less likely to stand with you in a crisis.

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