Is the Monkey an Antelope?

Be Accountable

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There is an old Arabic saying that states, “Even the monkey, in his mother’s eyes, is an antelope.” One message underlying this adage, is that we value what we create.  Professor Dan Ariely and his colleagues validate the essence of this through interesting experiments as noted in Ariely’s new book  The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home.  Creators, people who make something that’s meaningful to them, highly value their finished product (sometimes they tend over value their creations).

Being self accountable includes finding a way to create and complete work or projects. Effective leaders give room for people to add ingredients and “bake a cake” because they know people feel that pride of contribution and ownership. Ariely refers to this as the IKEA effect, that we are likely to value that furniture a little more if we have to put a little of our elbow grease into it. (After cursing while putting together some of this do-it-yourself furniture, I’m not sure I fully concur.)

At some level the notion of valuing our own creations more is intuitive. But for people concerned that self accountability may be too accommodating, it maybe a helpful reminder that we personally win by jumping in to create. To those in leadership roles – let’s make sure we’re leaving enough room for others to create to completion.

with Character,

Lorne