It’s that time of year again when the sun tries desperately to impress us with how hot it can make stuff. We get it, you’re a giant ball of flaming plasma. Settle down. Anyways, I’d like to take a moment to discuss what it’s like to be stuck in it all day every day, as well as how the season emphasizes the importance of the core value of Accountability.

Working outside in July and August makes you rethink every choice you’ve ever made in your life that’s led to that specific moment. You start early to beat the worst of the heat, wear sunscreen, big hats, and long sleeves, take breaks, drink fluids, and you’re still absolutely spent by the end of it. The sky tries to melt you, and your brain don’t work good, and you just want to lay down in the shade and sleep because you have a million years of self-preservation built into your DNA telling you that if you move around in the heat too much you’re gonna die. Nevertheless you persist, carrying on through the day in a half trudge half crawl towards the completion of the task.

It’s in these broiling times that the core value of accountability becomes so particularly necessary for every team member to practice. Not only does the heat fry your brain, but it’s a huge distraction as well, because all you’re thinking about is how friggin’ hot it is. So when we as individuals falter, it’s up to the group as a whole to pick up the slack.

Be accountable for the well-being of the team. Be responsible for yourself, but also for those around you. When the heat shuts your brain off, it can be easy for individuals to push past their healthy threshold into overexertion. Watch for people dragging and falling behind and stop them before it becomes a problem. Sometimes people need these things brought to their own attention.

Be accountable for the job. Mistakes are more common as the heat causes your brain to misfire, and those mistakes will need to be fixed. Nothing is more demoralizing than repeating work you’ve already done when it’s 94 degrees out. Be actively engaged and if you see something going wrong, say something before it turns into a problem. Don’t assume that someone else is taking care of the problem, or even notices it for that matter. Be accountable for the success of the team.

Group accountability is necessary year-round, but we lean heavily on it in rough weather and tough times. By making oneself accountable and actively engaging in the team’s well-being and the accomplishment of the goal, we remain unbowed, unbent, unbroken by that pompous sky fireball and march onward towards success.