I see and hear much about the concept of accountability. The true nature of accountability has been warped. The word carries the sense of the quality of being answerable and called to account (source). Here at Medici, I would like us to recall and engage in the deepest sense of accountability, one of our Core Values for good reason.
This is the essence of accountability:
- What is my personal “bookkeeping” or accounting system?
- How has it been established?
- Are the terms of accounting what I want to be answerable for?
Please, fellow maestros, picture a scene from the Renaissance. It’s the time of the rebirth of humanity, after the collective had forgotten what powerful creatures humans are and neglected the abilities of the creative imagination.
Imagine Leonardo da Vinci working on the complex fresco painting of The Last Supper. He knows the composition set in his imagination, his personal terms to which he wishes to answer. He works to get the expressions, gestures, and colors to match the vision in his mind’s eye. No one else can see what he sees there. He answers only to himself. He accounts to his own Heart, and he will accept the work for himself. If the strokes from his brush do not answer to his inner terms, he adjusts the work, not his accounting system. This changes for no one.
However, Leonardo was not just working for himself. He painted for his patron at the time, Ludovico Sforza, as well as administrators of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. This presents the external sense of accountability, the one primarily used when the topic arises. Leonardo was confronted by a prior at the monastery about how long the project was taking. Da Vinci negotiated it with the explanation that he could not find the right face for Judas Iscariot, one he imagined as that image which was true to his internal account. (source)
Here in the house of Medici MediaSpace, as in other places, I see distress arise because this aspect of accountability feels imposed. This presents challenges for us to reach our creative expression in our business ventures. When we create the vision to which we will answer, we also create paths to hold accountability with associated partners. We can explain to one another the vision, the needs, the barriers, and solutions to the external accountability in ways that do not change the personal, internal vision to which we answer.
The external accountability systems are significant, and I welcome them. If we perceive accountability the way maestros think, then those external expressions help us achieve the internal vision. This may include issues from leaving common areas of use in clean conditions for those coming after me (involves mutual respect) all the way to being in a partnership and determining the complexities of contracts (may involve collaboration). The maestro knows a fuller understanding of both internal and external accountability helps to create some form of beauty.
The development of this particular Core Value depends on the clarity of each one’s vision that will be answered to. Then, the maestro communicates this to any involved, extending all the way to clients or consumers. In business terms, this means the end product or service matches the accountability terms, both internal and external.
The maestro’s work radiates power when the vision is clear and when they will accept nothing less than that for self or others involved. If we respect ourselves, we will respect those who, whether directly or indirectly, ask us to give account for any aspect of our work.
Ultimately, a full sense of accountability grants us the ability to be self-assured and enjoy the journey of each project. By the way, if it’s not enjoyable and significant, why engage? Enjoy!