How The Theory of Personal Accountability Was Developed:
During the summer of 1990, I was a Private First Class in Army Basic Training. I was stationed at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina.
My Drill Sergeant informed us that by the end of the week, we needed to be ready for Drill and Ceremony for the Company Commander. He told us that we were ATFU (Look it up) and that by the end of the week we needed to be L7 (Squared Away).
In that moment he called us to attention and gave the command, “Half-Right Face.” I was a Squad Leader so, I assumed we were about to get in the front-leaning-rest position to do pushups. But he gave all of the drill and ceremony commands at the Half-right face. By the end of the week, we were ready.
When I returned to my senior year of High School, I requested to command the squad for the City-Wide School Drill Competition. Because I was third in command, my JROTC instructor said yes.
We practiced outside for 6 weeks every day, in the rain, the snow, the cold and with very few sunny days. On the day of the competition, we were ready. Six-weeks later, I found out that we had won the squad competition. We placed first out of 21 high schools. This win was also a first for my CTA high school.
What was the difference?
That half-right face we used while I was in basic training. That 45-degree angle allowed me to see things differently. I could tell if anyone’s weapon was crooked, whose feet were not aligned and it made the movements more precise.
That angle took squad from Unaccountable to Accountable to Best.
One practice day at a time.
The 45 Degree angle of the Half-right face combined with the 74 Principles of Real Leadership developed into, The Theory of Personal Accountability: U -> A -> B: 45 Degrees + Daily.