Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane


A guide to making the leap from imposed accountability to personal commitment for both individuals and organizations.

Accountability — we all want the people around us to be responsible, reveal genuine commitment, keep their word, and stay away from blaming others. But organizational systems that aim to institutionalize accountability don’t quite go all the way. People are people. They have their own wants and needs, their own psychological tangles, and they often don’t particularly want to be held accountable, let alone confront others who have let them down.

Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane is here to help. It reveals the missing ingredient organizations usually overlook: personal responsibility. It’s an approach to self-improvement for each reader, centring on untangling the conflicting thoughts that block personal responsibility. And it’s a guide for every leader who wants to go all the way.


Art Horn takes readers on a powerful journey to help them identify ways to further empower team members and instill in them the desire to truly take ownership for their work, their results, and the success of the organization.

Avi Kahn, CEO, Hilti North America, Plano, Texas

Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane is compelling, insightful, and rich with very practical ideas. Art Horn guides any leaders who understand that good strategies are not enough when the team is not fully engaged and dedicated. Getting people to become more responsible is the essence of solving day-to-day accountability problems … I love this book!

Eric Ruggirello, Chief Financial Officer, Bayer Canada, Toronto

To be accountable or to be a victim is one of those elemental decisions that everyone needs to make. Simply, the former leads you to a happier and more rewarding life. This book is a thoughtful, valuable guide to helping achieve that.

Rob Pitfield, Chairman, Traveledge, Toronto

What would increase the willingness of individuals to take personal accountability and responsibility for their performance and what environment would enable this? Art Horn’s book offers an insightful look at what individuals can do to be that person and what leaders need to do to facilitate their employees’ desire.

Stephen Girouard, Director, National Sales, Diabetes and Cardiovascular, Sanofi Canada, Montreal

Through insightful discussion and real-life examples, Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane provides an excellent roadmap to improving one’s self, subordinates, and company. Great book!

Jerry Berman, Area President, M/I Homes, Washington, D.C.

I don’t think I’ve read a more useful business book in a long time. If you consider yourself a practitioner of human-centered leadership, you’re going to devour this book.

Andy Macaulay, Managing Partner, Rethink Communications, Toronto

Accountability is what binds high-performance organizations. It is contagious and sets a company up for success. Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane is an overdue, straightforward approach to developing a truly accountable and ultimately successful company.

Tal Bevan, Chief Operating Officer, Architech, Toronto

While it is the “people stuff” that most often gets in the way of organizational goals, Art Horn reminds us again that the best way to accommodate the human element is to nurture self-esteem, invite true commitment, and generally adopt a humanistic orientation.

John Burrows, Business Unit Head, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Toronto

As a leader for a global organization that prides itself on “keeping our customers in the lead,” the principles around accountability that are the focus of Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane resonate with me as key elements in ensuring we deliver on our commitments.

Haim Za’afrani, Vice-President Packaging, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Luxembourg

Art Horn has done a masterful job of explaining the “art of accountability.” Clearly, accountability is the outcome of an organization that values and acts upon commitments, is goal-oriented, and focuses on measureable results that are managed through effective and frequent “coachable moments.”

Paul J. Bognar, Chief Operating Officer/EVP, Service Inspired Restaurants, Toronto

What an inspiring book that unpacks how individuals, leaders, and organizations can take responsibility and become more accountable.

Firdos Somji, Senior Vice President, Integration and Change, Scotiabank International Banking

Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane is a practical guide for anyone interested in the pursuit of self-discovery and will benefit any organization. If you’re interested in driving more accountability, this book is for you! But keep a mirror with you at all times and be ready for some serious self-analysis as the journey all starts from within.

Christian Giroux, Area Commercial Director, EMEA, Abbott Nutrition International, Dubai

Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane is a practical guide to understanding the drivers of accountability for either an individual or an organization by linking them to tangible human behaviors. The concept that self-responsibility leads to accountability is a much more suitable, empowering, and “bottoms-up” means to an end versus the traditional top-down, goal- and metrics-based approach.

Michael DeKoning, President and CEO, Munich American Reassurance Company, Atlanta

Companies big and small are so focused on getting their people to become accountable, but they fall short. Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane allows us to delve deeper toward getting our people to become more responsible versus just accountable.… A timely book written by an inspirational leader.

Hesham Shafie, President and CEO, Brand Momentum, Toronto

Welcome to the world of accountability. In Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane, you will find not only fun personal examples and business ones but also self-assessment tools to help you understand where you fit. We all want our teams to nail it, to be highly efficient, to thrive, but as Art Horn puts it, “that does not preclude the humanistic — it calls for it.”

Jana A. Mihaylova, General Manager of Abbott Nutrition International and Abbott Laboratories

I can hear the sound of Art Horn’s wise voice as I read Throw Your Stuff Off the Plane … Not only does he get how people are wired, it feels as though he’s talking directly to my wiring. And, like a master electrician, he knows how to reposition and tweak it so that I can be better at life. His book is full of little “aha” moments that explain why we behave the way we do.

Elspeth Lynn, Group Creative Director, FCB Inferno, London

About the Author

Art Horn

Posted by Dundurn Guest on February 21, 2017
Art Horn photo

Art Horn

Art Horn, founder of HORN Training and Consulting, has worked for 30 years helping individuals locate personal responsibility and translate it into organizational accountability. He is an educator, consultant, and executive coach, as well as the author of four previous books on the topics of leadership and self-management. He lives in Toronto.