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Miller Bedford Executive Solutions
Culture Accountability Leadership Integrity Speakers Values Consulting Feedback Strategy Responsibility
Culture Accountability Leadership Integrity Speakers Values Consulting Feedback Strategy Responsibility

Miller Bedford Executive Solutions's posts

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5 Tips for Accountable Air Travelers and Airlines

Air Travelers
1. Don’t barge to get on the plane first. Believe it or not, you are not more important than everyone else.
2. Do share shared space: Don’t hog the overhead bins. Put your seat back slowly so you don’t sever the legs of your fellow passengers.
3. The toilet is not your personal space for primping – do your business and get out!
4. Keep all smells to a minimum – yes, the obvious, but don’t take this as the time to put on that last coat of nail polish or apply cologne. While we’re at it, don’t clip your nails or floss your teeth! Yuck!!
5. We know it is time for family travel and accept that kids may struggle with the confined space, but please don’t let them kick the back of my seat all the way to where we’re going!

1. Tell the truth – the whole truth – as customer, we deserve to know.
2. Don’t put your convenience before ours, last time we checked, an airline only stays in business if it has customers.
3. Please treat us with respect and we will do the same for you.
4. We understand that all things aren’t in your control, but please apologize when things go wrong.
5. This may be our first time to fly or our 1000th, help us want to fly with you again.


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So true!

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5 Accountability Tips for Emailers

1. Think! Do you really need to reply all?
2. A quick “thanks” or “ok” lets the sender know the message was received
3. Everyone gets a ton of email these days, get to the point or even enter your comments in bullets to make it easier to read.
4. Don’t expect an instant response regardless of the time of day or night. If your request is urgent, pick up the phone!
5. Attention spammer: You are obviously a smart individual. Please apply yourself in a more positive fashion. The world could use your brain working for the good of all!


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Lame Decisions and Tarnished Reputations

What is so hard about doing the right thing? Why is it so difficult for some leaders to make decisions when the answer seems so obvious to the rest of us? Why does it take advertisers to pull their support and public outrage to help get to what should have been the initial response?

We think people might say, it has do with profits – decisions are all made for the best interest of the company. Another “reason” may be concern about the potential of lawsuits – “If I admit making a mistake…we’ll get sued.” Or maybe it’s about saving face or not losing the power position, or maintaining an outstanding brand or reputation.

Let’s see how those have played out in the news recently. Here are two examples.

First, let’s consider FOX News’ handling of then CEO Roger Ailes sexual harassment charges and the prevailing culture within that organization. After the ouster of Ailes, FOX promised to “maintain a culture of trust and respect”. However, there must not have been any teeth in that culture renewal. Fast forward to Bill O’Reilly, with the reigning top-rated cable news program – certainly a big money maker for FOX but at what cost? Now O’Reilly is out – along with 60 or so advertisers, not to mention the lawsuits and the women damaged by those poor decisions. Do you think FOX’s reputation has taken a hit?

Secondly, how about United Airlines? What if the CEO Oscar Munoz started with – “Wow, I’m completely shocked at the treatment of one of our customers! This is NOT what I expect for my passengers. I will take personal responsibility for this and do everything I can to make things right.” There may still have been a lawsuit, and United would still be the butt of late night TV jokes, but do you think it would be as bad as what happened? We doubt it!

Why have leaders lost their resolve and become weak? Are they afraid of taking ownership and being accountable? Man up leaders, or maybe we should say woman up! Get out there and try to do the right thing the first time around. Don’t wait until it is demanded by others. It will be better for your bottom line and your reputation!

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Despite what today's world would lead you to believe...

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5 Accountability Tips for Drivers

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Back by popular demand! It’s time for our annual Accountability Heroes and Zeros list! That time of year where we look back on 2016, who was accountable and who wasn’t? Who provided leadership in a way that sets a good example for others and who didn’t?
Accountability Zeros of 2016

If we asked you to list a few Accountability Zeros from 2016 I think we know who would be top of your list. It might be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or both. Whether you are from the United States or outside of America the debacle that was our election year was unprecedented. Many of us were surprised by the actions of many of our supposed political leaders. Their lack of decorum and statesmanship towards each other sank to an all-time low. We keep thinking about that long line of nominees in the first GOP debate. Some were condescending, using snarky comebacks and name-calling, and this set the tone for what was to follow in both parties - it was like grade school all over again! Needless to say, their actions did not model people willing to be accountable for their own actions and behaviors.
Accountability is something we tend to learn over time. Sometimes we learn through our own mistakes and sometimes we can be fortunate to learn from someone else’s. This year we have two that get the “Didn’t learn from the past” Awards. One should have had an opportunity to learn from someone else’s misfortune. Everyone is aware of what happened at Penn State University several years ago. The leaders’ failure to handle Jerry Sandusky’s sexual molestation of children appropriately was a very costly lesson – both to the crime victims and the university. Sadly it seems, not everyone was paying attention.
This year it came to light that Baylor University continuously showed a disregard for accusations of sexual assault against its own female students. Leaders were aware that players were a threat to the campus and took no action. In some cases they did not investigate the female students’ accusations for up to 2 years thereby allowing the accused football players to continue playing on Baylor’s winning football team. Only after an independent external investigation into the university’s handling of alleged incidents did those accountable lose their positions. Not what we would expect from any university, much less a Christian one.
Our second award for not learning from past mistakes goes to Anthony Weiner – who can’t seem to resist texting pictures of his privates even though we thought he learned his lesson years ago. There should be a special category for a guy named Weiner with this texting issue. I think next year we may have a category called the Weiner Wiener Winner.
Another company that had some issues with accountability this year was Wells Fargo. Employees opened over 2 million bank accounts or credit cards without authorization from their customers. It was alleged that Wells Fargo management was supportive of the employees’ actions and created a high pressure culture where it was ok to defraud customers. When 5300 employees were terminated while management received bonuses there was a huge outcry. After pressure from the House Financial Services Committee investigations it was announced that CEO and Chairman, John G. Stumpf would retire. Sadly the 5300 employees were not allowed to “retire”.

This list wouldn’t be complete without Ryan Lochte. The Olympic swimmer who, while in Rio, made up the story about being robbed at gunpoint when in actuality he was involved in vandalizing a gas station. Hopefully his embarrassment and loss of endorsements has taught him and others a huge lesson.
Accountability Heroes of 2016

This year we’ve decided to do something different. We are going to award the Unsung Heroes. Those who are willing to do the right thing – in other words, be accountable regardless of how difficult it is to do. The actions of the unsung heroes demand strength of character and unequalled courage. Being accountable oftentimes requires going against the crowd. So here’s to the teacher that refused to pass a student that didn’t make the grades – despite student and parent protests. Here’s to the CEO who fired a senior manager for violating the core values of the company despite the fact that that employee contributed handily to the bottom line of the business, and was considered indispensable. Here’s to the parents who applied consequences to their children when they disobeyed, so that they may hopefully grow into accountable adults. Here’s to the police chief who fired the officer who tweeted racial slurs. Here’s to the HR manager who stood her ground with a senior leader who thought he was above the rules. Here’s to the volunteer that was willing do what was needed to be done to get the organization back on track. Cheers to them all for helping make the world we live in a more accountable place to live.

Can you think of any unsung heroes in your midst? We can honestly say that we see them every day. Just look around. When you see one, please take the time to congratulate him or her. After all, it would be nice to encourage the ones being a role model for others – we could use a lot more of them!


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Accountable Leadership - The Olympic Version -

We don’t know about you, but we are Olympic junkies!  Really, we love all the different sporting events and we really love all the back stories of the athletes. Some of them are teary-making; what they or their families have overcome just to be able to be there.  Even without obstacles, just making it to that level of their sport is beyond comprehension to most of us.
Olympians teach us so much more than about athleticism.  They teach us about how to be more accountable in the world we live in. Yes, there have been a few bad examples we can learn from (we’re deliberately not talking about them!), and there always will be.  But there are so many more great examples of things like global relations, racial relations, religious acceptance, sexual orientation acceptance…they demonstrate the great potential of all the rich diversity that makes up our world, and the true spirit of competition and sportsmanship. Here are some of our favorites. 
South Korea's Lee Eun Ju and North Korean gymnast Hong Un Jong, took a selfie together as they prepared to compete.

Competing athletes can be friends, and can push each other to greatness.   Doesn’t it make you happy to see the smiles on the faces of Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse as each pushes the other?

It doesn’t matter what race you are, what religion you practice, or the culture in which you were raised.  Whether it’s the diversity in the U.S. Gymnastic Team…

or, Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States.

The Olympics is about all of us and can bring out the best in us.  There is no better example of the true spirit of competition… what the Olympics really stand for…than this.  By now, you’ve all seen the story of New Zealand athlete Nikki Hamblin and the USA’s Abbey D’Agostino.  Tumbling to the track, helping each other to get up and amazingly, getting to the finish line.  You can read more of this story here.

We hope the spirit of the Olympics lives on beyond the Olympics.  There are some that say we can’t get along, that we should be wary of people who are not like us, but they need to step aside and let the young athletes show us the way.
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