Accountability: are you willing to put your name to it?

It's an interesting thing.

If you watch footage of demonstrations - no matter the country - you'll see hordes of people wearing anything from scarves to balaklavas to cover their faces. They don't want to be known for their beliefs.


From Twitter to comments on blog sites, pseudonymous names are used so that the person commenting doesn't have to be held responsible for what he or she is saying.

In organizations, the way this plays out is that someone says something really, really smart but isn't willing to take it to the next level. As a result, someone else - who overheard the really, really smart thing - does take it further and gets the which point the original someone with the original really, really smart idea gets angry as hell and feels that they've been cheated.

No they haven't. They didn't put their name to it. They didn't take the risk - so they don't deserve the reward.

The media, in general, and social media, in particular, have made it easy to hide. The problem is - and it is a problem - the people who get used to hiding find it harder and harder to come out from behind the curtain. They'd rather be an anonymous 'influencer' than a clarion call that others can really trust.

The saddest part of all of this is the number of ideas, thoughts, innovations, opportunities and possibilities that get lost - for the organizations, the people they serve and, not least, the person who had the idea in the first place.

You may not want to be a star - but you should be willing to put your name to your own thoughts. If you're not, either keep them to yourself or, when someone else gets the credit, suck it up and deal with it. You made that happen.