The authors of Crucial Conversations release the second edition of their New York Times bestseller Crucial Accountability

June 25, 2013—New York, NY—Studies show when people see accountability as “someone else’s job” they waste time, resources and morale—specifically, research from VitalSmarts shows employees waste $1,500 and an eight-hour workday for every accountability discussion they avoid. These costs skyrocket when you consider that 95 percent of a company’s workforce struggles to hold their colleagues accountable.

Based on more than 30 years of research, CRUCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY (McGraw-Hill Professional; June 2013; Original paperback and eBook formats: $19) provides readers with the essential tools they need to resolve controversial and complex issues dealing with repeated disappointments and performance gaps. This is the revised second edition of the national bestseller Crucial Confrontations, first published in 2004. Authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler have also written the national bestsellers: Crucial Conversations, Influencer, and Change Anything.

The authors’ experience and research show that when most people are confronted with patterns of negative behavior from direct reports, colleagues, family members or friends, they take one of two roads: they either perpetuate the problem by saying nothing or they speak up but their frustration and heightened emotions make it hard to say something without being abrasive or rude—resulting in damaged relationships.

However, the authors’ research also shows that those who don’t lash out or stay silent and who are skilled at holding others accountable are highly influential.

“Early on in our research we asked leaders to identify their most valued employees. Without exception, they selected people who knew how to hold others accountable,” said author Joseph Grenny. “Those who learn the skills we teach in Crucial Accountability will not only learn how to hold others accountable and bring predictability and trust into their organization, but they will also be counted as one of their company’s most valued assets.”

In this revised, long-running bestseller, the authors teach actionable skills for creating a healthy dialogue to successfully hold people accountable for their negative behavior at work or at home by devising solutions to both motivate and enable others to make positive changes. Readers will also learn how to:

  • Hold anyone accountable—no matter the person’s power, position, or temperament.
  • Master performance discussions—get positive results and maintain good relationships.
  • Motivate others without using power—clearly and concisely explain specific, natural consequences, and permanently resolve problems.
  • Manage projects without taking over—creatively help others avoid excuses, keep projects on track, and resolve performance barriers.
  • Move to action—agree on a plan, follow up, engage in good reporting practices, and manage new expectations.

Filled with effective strategies and techniques, CRUCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY shows readers how to effectively resolve broken commitments, build trust and enhance relationships.


Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler are the leaders of VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and leadership development. VitalSmarts combines three decades of original research with 50 years of the best social science to help leaders and organizations change human behavior and achieve new levels of performance. VitalSmarts has identified four high-leverage skill sets that, when used in combination, create healthy corporate cultures. These skills are taught in the Company’s award-winning training programs and New York Times best-selling books of the same titles: Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Influencer, and Change Anything. VitalSmarts has consulted with more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies and trained more than one million people worldwide.

CONTACTS: Lydia Rinaldi of McGraw-Hill +1-212-512-3600, or
Laura Potter of VitalSmarts, L.C. +1-801-510-7590, or

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