Accountability Matters

Even though most of us understand being accountable is important, and likely an expectation, sometimes excuses are heard. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I’ve been under a lot of stress lately.
  • I didn’t know it was my responsibility.
  • Why me?
  • I can’t do everything around here.
  • You should have listened closer.
  • Why didn’t you follow-up?

Instead of blaming others or not taking ownership, here are various ways you can personally demonstrate more accountability and help your teams do the same. Below are points to ponder—do you or your team do them well, or not? If no, consider implementing several of them.

  • Acknowledge the reality and your role, no matter how unpleasant or unfair it may appear/be.
  • Demonstrate courage to admit mistakes and recognize the need for improvement.
  • View the issue from all sides and perspectives.
  • Resist allowing outside actions to keep you stuck. Accept feedback and act on the situation.
  • Consider possible solutions, anticipating what could occur and preparing for both the best and worst scenarios.
  • Continually ask, “What else can I do?” This question helps to avoid slipping back into a victim cycle.
  • Accept appropriate risk and take a significant step that’s necessary to accomplish the team goal.
  • Develop the willingness and means to do what you’ve planned.

Demonstrating accountability is essential for every employee within an organization, and it starts with you. As you and others continue to execute and value it, accountability will deliver numerous business benefits: better execution, lower employee turnover, and more creativity and innovation. Shifting to being more accountable may require a change in behavior from you, your team, and/or your organization, but leaders, managers and employees alike will find the results are well worth the effort. 

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