I remember as the chief librarian of my campus fellowship, I was in the custody of the registration/lateness fees of those that returned books late. It was a small fee but it served as a motivation to return borrowed books. The record of the fees was both in my mind and in my head. When I needed to put the figures out, it got confusing because the mind and the head had different figures. In summary, I was not documenting the records.
It took me a week to recall from memory what the total sum was. I came to an amount and just to clear my conscience I added some of my personal money…just in case I had missed out one or two payments. I did beat up myself for not managing God’s money properly and then I took some steps back to think through how I could have done things properly.
“On one side of accountability is courage, on the other is freedom.” — Jean Hamilton
One of the major decisions I took was to have an accountability partner in any money project I was involved in. Since then I have been involved in a lot of handling money for a group, joint causes, funding a cause etc. I don’t know why money somehow always ends with me.
No matter how highly anonymous the cause is, (especially in informal settings) I always have a member of the group that I “report” to. This is both for accountability and also to avoid the temptation of misappropriation.
One of my managers told me that “integrity has optics”. Yes, we know you are a person of integrity. Don’t stop there, you should BE SEEN as having integrity. Do what demonstrates integrity. Give accounts even when not asked. Provide records. Ensure the folks you are working with have feedback.
“Blame is the coward’s solution to his fear of accountability.” — Craig D. Lounsbrough
Will people question your integrity? That is a question for another day. Noteworthy is the fact that, that is external. You do not have control over that. But the one you have control over…you must do.
One of the benefits of an accountability partner, in this case, is that at times the person brings a perspective that you were blind to. Or gives you feedback that was not obvious to you or provides an interpretation of what you said that is contradictory to what you are doing now. With that you can re-assess the situation, restrategise, consult with the team and re-align.
It is frustrating for your good deeds and intention to be spoken evil of. Sometimes it is inevitable as some folks just can’t help themselves but think in that direction. Other times, our good deeds are spoken evil of because it was self-inflicted. We did not consult properly and did everything by ourselves hoping that since folks think you have integrity….that should suffice. Go a step further. Even Jesus had disciples, who would confirm the things He did, through their writings. They were His accountability partners; in a way. When they had issues about perception, they recorded it. Check John 4:27. Are you surprised about what you saw there?
Let your good works not be spoken of as evil. Do your best to be a person of integrity. Go further to provide “the optics” of integrity. Go and rest afterwards…for thou has done thy best. Amen.
You can check out my other works on personal development Asking, Managing Access In Relationships How To Ask, Authenticity, Life Skill: The Power of Saying “No”, Start Off; Look Up & Pedal Hard, 12 Unforgettable Leadership Lessons From The Lion King, InBuilt and Now I Arise. I also reviewed The Lion King and wrote about Movies That Shaped.
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