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Book Review: Crucial Accountability – by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron Mcmillan, Al Switzler and David Maxfield

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Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior, Second Edition by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron Mcmillan, Al Switzler and David Maxfield is an important book on how to define and establish accountability in a whole host of settings which focus on the workplace. Nonetheless, many of the strategies contained in the book apply at home, too. In fact, the authors point out that broken promises cause many divorces.

The authors explain practical ways to hold people accountable. For instance, productivity should be benchmarked with milestones. Generally speaking, the top employees have the knowledge of the inner workings of an organization to hold others accountable. In brief, workers need to be aware of the gist of infractions, patterns of non-performance and the differential impact on the relationship quality with peers and management.

Employees charged with supervisory responsibilities must be flexible. Notes on chronic problem areas should be kept so that each issue can be dealt with methodically. New issues should be introduced when others have been reviewed thoroughly. There should be a plan for corrective action and followup. Lastly, gaps between expectations and observations of critical incidents should be set forth so that measurable goals can be identified and worked on in a logical sequence.

The authors discourage the raw use of power as a motivating factor. In fact, too much force can cause relationships to deteriorate. Instead, people in charge should explore the natural consequences of non-performance with appropriate links to the existing value systems set forth in the organization or work group. The best managers usually explore varied solution sets and articulate potential roadblocks while discussing gaps in accountability and delays in meeting commitments.

Crucial Accountability is an important resource for professionals throughout an organization. The presentation is well written and easy to understand. The advice is practical and doable.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.