Accountability…take it!

When your business succeeds or fails, where does the finger point?

Image courtesy imagerymajestic/

Image courtesy imagerymajestic/

Accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions. The dictionary further defines it as: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. In business this becomes very important because whether your business succeeds or fails not only depends on your accountability, but the responsibility of every single person on your team. By not allowing your employees to be accountable, you are not only doing your business a disservice but the team will also suffer because you won’t instill a sense of responsibility in your employees.

Most people are still quick to point the finger of blame at a colleague, customer or competitor. If you’ve followed the news over the past few years you get the sense that being accountable is unnecessary…lose money and you will get a bailout. Unfortunately, most people view accountability as something that wrong or is a negative, or as something to fear. Many think accountability only comes up when something goes wrong or when someone else wants to pinpoint the cause of the problem, all for the sake of pinning blame and pointing the finger. Who wants to be accountable at that point? If accountability is feared, how do people have ownership in their jobs or the company?

It’s up to the leaders to create a culture of accountability.

Instead of a scenario where leaders take all the blame and accolades, imagine what it would be like if everyone in the business took responsibility. The managers and team members have the skills needed, they just need the permission from their leaders. So give your team permission to succeed and fail!
Here are three ways to have more accountability:
1) Everyone on the team must understand the goals. The team must understand what  they and their team are trying to achieve, and that everyone on the team is responsible for the success and failures.
2) Rise above expectations to achieve better results. Many organizations give people the idea that they are getting paid and using their skills to perform a defined function. The task-oriented mindset leads people to believe that they have little responsibility outside their defined tasks. Leaders who create an environment that motivates employees to ask, “What else can I do?” see better results.

3) Hire a coach to keep you accountable. I work with clients to develop goals and an action plan. Together we establish a system with follow through and I provide the guidance, support and accountability needed for lasting success.

Being accountable is a daily decisions, one that is not just reserved for top level decisions by the CEO. Every employee must adhere to these values in all the tasks. Have you given your employees the permission to be more accountable?

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