50 Accountability Quotes for the Workplace To Inspire Success

With these accountability quotes for the workplace, you’ll inspire your employees or coworkers to be as successful as possible and reach your goals.

If you’re part of the workforce, you know how important accountability is.

According to career platform, “Indeed,” it’s important “because individuals who feel responsible for their actions may be more likely to perform their tasks well and efficiently. A workplace that values accountability may also foster greater commitment and increased employee happiness.”

So, what does this all mean?

  • Accountability is for all levels. It means that if you are a leader in an organization, if you make sure that accountability is shown on all levels, the employee experience may be enhanced overall. Lead by example.
  • It means that if you are a manager of people, you want to own up to things – good and bad. You are setting an accountability trend for those who work under you.
  • It improves your workplace productivity. Even if you are not a people manager, having accountability over your work will help you be seen in a great light. It will also help you feel more happiness over the work that you’re delivering.

That all sounds great, right? But between new workplace trends like quiet quitting, bare minimum Monday, and the increased cases of burnout we see, accountability can fall through the cracks.

Sometimes we need a reminder to make an effort and why it’s important to make that effort. For those days when you need that reminder, these quotes are for you.

accountability quotes for the workplace

50 Accountability Quotes for the Workplace To Inspire Success

“If you’re going to be a leader, you’re not going to please everybody. You have to hold people accountable, even if you have that moment of being uncomfortable.” – Kobe Bryant

Accountability is not comfortable, but it is part of being disciplined to find the success you desire.

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

The quote explains how we are the sum of our actions.

“You’re going to mess up. So instead of trying to be perfect, learn how to be accountable.” – Whitney Goodman

Being accountable doesn’t mean being perfect.

Nobody is perfect. You’re going to make mistakes – everyone does. Instead of passing the blame, or hiding from your mistakes, own up to them. You’re not alone in making mistakes.

Mistakes are how we learn.

“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Accountability is about accepting the consequences, positive or negative, of our actions.

“Accountability and self-responsibility are critical to our success in personal, professional and public life. However, we often look for those character traits in others, rather than inculcating them in ourselves.” – Vishwas Chavan

Self-accountability might be the most important of all.

You shouldn’t just be holding your team or others accountable for their actions, you need to be holding yourself to those standards too. If you want your team to be accountable, you need to lead by example and be accountable yourself.

vishwas chavan quote

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin

This may be a bit harsh, but for good reason! If you pass the blame to others… that’s it, what other good, contributing traits do you have? Especially in the workplace!

“If I could give one tip for people – it’s not an exercise or nutrition regimen. It’s to walk your talk and believe in yourself, because at the end of the day, the dumbbell and diet don’t get you in shape. It’s your accountability to your word.” – Brett Hoebel

Do as you say you’ll do.

“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.” – General Colin Powell

You’re never going to be able to please anyone. Don’t let the fear of upsetting someone keep you from being accountable.

“The only way we succeed as a group is not simply following directions, but in keeping each other accountable for our actions.” – A.J. Darkholme

A sign that accountability for the action might be more important than the action itself.

“The benefits and possibilities that are created by being personally accountable are countless.” – Jay Fiset

Hold yourself to a higher standard and it will positively impact all areas of your life.

Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver

Making excuses won’t get you far – being accountable for your actions, owning up to them, and learning from them will get you far.

“Great companies have high cultures of accountability, it comes with this culture of criticism I was talking about before, and I think our culture is strong on that.” – Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer was the former Microsoft CEO, so you can say he knows a thing or two about leading.

The criticism he’s referring to here isn’t the negative kind that you likely automatically assume it is.

Instead, he’s referring to constructive criticism, which is essential to you and your business if you want to promote accountability.

ben franklin quote

“Accountability feels like an attack when you’re not ready to acknowledge how your behaviors harm others.” – Tamara Renaye

Think about it like this: our actions don’t just affect us, no matter how much we pretend they do.

What we do, think, and say also impacts other people around us. Just like what we don’t do, think, or say affects others as well.

“On good teams coaches hold players accountable, on great teams players hold players accountable.”  – Joe Dumars

Think of your favorite team. Would they win games if they didn’t lean on each other and hold each other accountable and make adjustments fittingly? They wouldn’t win a game at all!

Think of your work team. No, you may not be playing a game, but you are working towards the same goal – a goal you want to achieve and win.

“Forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?” – Bell Hooks

Accountability can turn negatives into positives.

“The best kind of accountability on a team is peer-to-peer. Peer pressure is more efficient and effective than going to the leader, anonymously complaining, and having them stop what they are doing to intervene.” – Patrick Lencioni.

Patrick Lencioni wrote the book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.” This quote is a reminder that all team members should hold themselves, and each other, accountable; it shouldn’t just come from management.

“Failing to hold someone accountable is ultimately an act of selfishness.” – Patrick Lencioni

Again, accountability affects all of us whether we want it to or not. It might benefit you more to not hold someone accountable to their actions.

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” – Moliere

Think about it like this: we’re not just accountable for what we say we’re going to do but for what is impact by what we don’t do.

brett hoebel quote

“Accountability is a key concept in moving an organization forward, especially in a challenging business climate.” – Cindy Tucker

A reminder to build accountability into your team’s processes.

“If we want unity, we must all be unifiers. If we want accountability, each of us must be accountable for all we do.” – Christine Gregoire

It raises us all up.

“Talent is part of the equation, but when you combine talent with accountability and authenticity, it is tough to beat.” ― David Ross

Sure, having talent can take you places. But if you really want to go far and climb that corporate ladder (or whatever your goal is) you are going to need more than just talent. You’re going to need accountability and authenticity, too.

“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.” – Brené Brown

Boundaries are a key part of accountability. Brené Brown says it best.

“Once people have a clear idea of what decisions they should and should not be making, holding them accountable for decisions feels fair.” – Gary L. Neilson

We can’t accomplish something but just saying that we are going to. It is critical that we make the effort towards doing the action and then have someone else hold us to the standard of completing it.

“When accountability is present, people keep their eyes on a very clear prize. They know what they are working toward and how they are going to get there.” – Henry J. Evans

Eyes on the prize, always.

“Accountability is – first and foremost – about being reliable. To get a good picture of your personal accountability, you may want to periodically ask yourself, “Can people count on me to do what I say I’ll do, as I said I would do it?” – Henry J. Evans

Reliability is a brilliant trait to have. It signals to others that you are responsible and worthy of being in their corner.

You should also befriend reliable people as well. Don’t let yourself down.

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen R. Covey

When you’re accountable, you’re proud of your work, meaning you’re more likely to talk about it and want to talk about it. You’re less likely to ignore that email asking for a status update. If you want your team to be more responsive, encourage a culture of accountability.

“Take accountability… Blame is the water in which many dreams and relationships drown.” – Steve Maraboli

Accountability is key to success in life. When we take personal responsibility for our actions, it helps us stay focused on our goals and keeps us from getting sidetracked by the blame game.

Blame often leads to negativity and can have a damaging impact on relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

By taking accountability for our choices, we can build stronger relationships and stay focused on achieving our goals.

We can also use accountability as a tool to identify areas of improvement and strive for greater success. Being accountable allows us to grow, learn from mistakes, and take the necessary steps toward progress.

stephen covey quote

“Wisdom stems from personal accountability. We all make mistakes; own them… learn from them. Don’t throw away the lesson by blaming others.” – Steve Maraboli

This quote is encouraging us to take responsibility for our actions and learn from our mistakes. Instead of pointing the finger at someone else when a mistake has been made, we should focus on understanding why it happened and use that knowledge to do better in the future.

By taking ownership of our errors, we can gain invaluable wisdom which will help us grow as individuals.

“For most people, blaming others is a subconscious mechanism for avoiding accountability. In reality, the only thing in your way is YOU.” – Steve Maraboli

This quote is a reminder that we are all ultimately responsible for our own actions and outcomes.

By looking outside of ourselves to blame others, we avoid taking responsibility for our choices and the consequences they bring.

In essence, this quote serves to remind us that when something goes wrong in our lives, it is up to us to find a solution.

The only thing standing in our way of achieving success is ourselves and our inability to take ownership of our actions.

Instead of focusing on the role that others may have played, it’s important for us to recognize that we are ultimately responsible and accountable for our decisions and outcomes.

It’s easy to blame external circumstances or other people when things don’t go our way, but this only serves to hinder our personal growth and success.

“Make yourself accountable and your employees will hold themselves to a high standard.” – David J. Greer

This quote from David J. Greer speaks to the importance of self-discipline and accountability in both business and personal affairs.

The concept is that when the leader or manager sets a good example of holding themselves to a high standard, it encourages others to do the same.

It is essential for an organization’s success if those in charge take their responsibilities seriously and demonstrate a commitment to excellence.

This sets the tone for everyone and gives those at lower levels of authority something to strive towards. It is also an effective motivational tool, as employees will be motivated by the example set by their supervisors.

Establishing strong standards and accountability within an organization can lead to increased productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction.

In short, if you want your employees to strive for excellence, be sure to demonstrate what that looks like. Set the example and they will follow suit.

“When people feel accountable and included, it is more fun.” – Alan Mulally

Alan Mulally is the former President and CEO of the Ford Motor Company. He puts a spin on accountability here, saying that it’s fun. Which it can be! When you’re more accountable, you’re more invested in your work, which makes it more enjoyable for yourself and for those around you.

“Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action-takers that care enough about their future to account for their daily actions. ” – John Di Lemme

This quote emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for our own actions. Those who wish for things to happen but do not take action are unlikely to achieve their goals.

On the other hand, those who are accountable and track their actions will be more likely to get what they desire in life.

“On one side of accountability is courage, on the other is freedom.” – Jean Hamilton-Ford

This quote highlights the importance of being accountable for our actions. Courage is required to take responsibility and make decisions, while freedom comes from accepting the consequences of those choices.

Accountability gives us a sense of ownership in our lives and helps us to become more independent.

john di lemme quote

“Big pay and little responsibility are circumstances seldom found together.” – Napoleon Hill

If you want to make those big bucks… you need to be accountable. You won’t get far if you’re not.

“Creating a culture of integrity and accountability not only improves effectiveness, but it also generates a respectful, enjoyable, and life-giving setting in which to work. “– Tom Hanson and Birgit Zacher Hanson

This quote comes from the book “Who Will Do What By When?” It shows that when a team or company is accountable, they’re more enthusiastic and respectful about their work and the work of others. Everyone knows what’s expected from them and there’s less blurred lines.

“Being held accountable is an act of generosity and compassion. It is a gift that someone gives us to correct our wrongs, unlearn, and do better for the sake of our own growth. It might be uncomfortable, but it is worth the discomfort.” – Minaa B.

This quote encourages us to accept accountability for our wrongdoings and be willing to learn, grow, and do better.

Accountability is a sign of generosity and compassion that can help us become better people in the long run. It may be challenging, but it is an essential part of our journey towards self-improvement.

“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.” – Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine is warning against people who have no accountability to anyone. Without any form of oversight, there is a risk that their actions may not be honest or beneficial to society.

He suggests that these people should not be trusted as they lack transparency and their decisions cannot be verified. This emphasizes the importance of having some kind of accountability in order for trust to exist.

You are accountable for your actions, your decisions, your life; no one else is, but you.” – Catherine Pulsifer

This quote speaks to the importance of personal responsibility. It emphasizes that all of our actions, decisions and lives are in our own hands, and we must take accountability for them.

No one else can bear this burden but us. We must be willing to accept the consequences of our choices and take ownership over our path in life. This is how we create a meaningful existence.

david ross quote

“Open collaboration encourages greater accountability, which in turn fosters trust.” – Ron Garan

Ron Garan’s an astronaut, and you know astronauts can’t do what they do alone! This is why he stresses collaboration, which is important for accountability.

Collaborating means that employees and departments and/or leadership are encouraged to share, leading to more innovation.

“Exhibiting accountability over time is a gateway to trust. When we see someone acting with accountability, we gain the evidence we need to trust them.” – Mike Erwin and Willys Devoll

This quote emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for our actions. When we show commitment to our duties, it builds trust and helps us establish credibility with those around us.

Accountability over time strengthens relationships by demonstrating reliability and dependability, allowing us to become more trustworthy in the eyes of others.

“Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility . . . . In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.” – Michael Korda

This quote emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility to achieve success. It implies that those who take ownership of their actions and consequences are more likely to be successful than those who do not.

Taking on responsibility is a sign of self-discipline, determination, and resilience – all traits essential for achieving success.

“To take responsibility for yourself as a leader and person; you need to learn to unlearn bad habits, and learn from your mistakes.” – Andrea Reibmayr

This quote encourages us to take ownership of our individual actions as a leader and person. It reminds us that we must not be afraid to recognize bad habits and errors in order to move past them and learn from our mistakes.

Taking responsibility starts with taking stock of our own attitudes, behavior, and decisions. Doing so will help us develop into better leaders and people.

moliere quote

“Accountability is the measure of a leaders height.” – Jeffrey Benjamin

Good leaders are ones that are accountable, so if you want to be a good leader, you’re going to need to be accountable and promote a culture of accountability.

“Responsibility equals accountability, accountability equals ownership, and a sense of ownership is the most powerful thing a team or organization can have.” – Pat Summit

This quote promotes the idea that taking responsibility for a task or goal is essential in order to ensure successful outcomes.

Being accountable and owning up to commitments develops trust between team members and fosters an environment of collective success.

Ultimately, this can foster a sense of unity and purpose which are invaluable components of any organization.

“The time has come to carry accountability forward, to take it offline and into the real world. To share our lives with just a few people we really, truly, honestly trust.” – Craig Gross

This quote encourages us to be more mindful of who we share our lives with. We should only trust those few people who have proved themselves to be reliable and trustworthy.

With this in mind, we can develop stronger relationships with others and take accountability for the decisions we make. By doing so, we can cultivate healthier environments and stronger connections overall.

“In reality, we all have our lives, and the accountability for the achievement of our dreams and goals falls strictly on our own shoulders.” – Thomas Matt

This quote is emphasizing that we are in control of our own destiny, and it is up to us to make our dreams a reality.

We must take responsibility for our actions if we want to reach our goals. Ultimately, the power lies within us to shape our future success.

Our efforts will determine the level of success we can achieve. Every effort we put forward contributes to our life’s ultimate success.

“Leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility before they place blame.”― Courtney Lynch

Courtney Lynch is the author of “Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success.” Here, she’s reminding us not to look for someone or something else to blame. If you made a mistake, you need to accept it, admit it, learn from it, and move on.

“Understanding the true meaning of accountability makes us strong and enables us to learn” – Sameh Elsayed

We should always be striving to continue learning, right? Accountability helps you learn and grow throughout your life.

“If you are building a culture where honest expectations are communicated and peer accountability is the norm, then the group will address poor performance and attitudes.” – Henry Cloud

This quote emphasizes the importance of having open and honest expectations, along with peer accountability, in order to maintain a positive workplace culture.

When expectations are set forth and upheld, employees will be able to recognize and address any poor performance or attitudes, thereby creating an environment of high standards. This ultimately leads to better morale, productivity, and overall success.

“Restoring responsibility and accountability is essential to the economic and fiscal health of our nation.” – Carl Levin

Accountability and responsibility are necessary for any nation’s financial health. Without them, the government’s resources would be mismanaged and squandered, leading to economic instability and poverty.

Carl Levin emphasizes this point by stressing that restoring these values is essential for a prosperous future.

accountability quotes for the workplace

Final Thoughts on Accountability Quotes for the Workplace

Accountability quotes in the workplace are an important tool for encouraging employees to take responsibility for their actions and performance.

They serve as a reminder of the importance of self-discipline, setting goals, and striving to achieve them.

When used correctly, they can help foster a culture of ownership and personal development within an organization.

By committing to these motivational messages and using them to inspire and motivate, employees can become more productive, successful, and satisfied in their roles.

Ultimately, accountability quotes are an essential part of developing a culture of success in the workplace.

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts ’13 and a Master of Arts ’14. She’s currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she’s not working, she’s likely planning her escape to a tropical island.