“Maybe you’re not perfect, but you’re willing to actually look at yourself and take some kind of accountability. That’s a change. It might not mean that you can turn everything around, but I think there’s something incredibly hopeful about that.” Brie Larson
Let’s start by exploring what accountability means to you and why it is important. Accountability is about standing behind (or beside) the actions and decisions you make. Accountability is like a checklist to see if expectations have been met and who is responsible for what they said they were going to do. When people must claim responsibility for their actions, this is where you may see people start finger pointing, blaming or complaining about why they did not meet expectations. Funny thing is for the finger point outward, there are three fingers pointing back. Each person in a relationship or interaction can take 100% responsibility for their actions. It builds trust because you have faith that the other person is going to put in their 100% effort like you are. This type of commitment gets results. You will want to go back and listen to our first episode on Taking 100% Responsibility.
To be accountable, you must have a clear purpose or WHY for doing what you do, driven by a vision, mission, and core values. Your core values act like a compass directing you and keeping you on track to meet your goals.
Accountability serves a purpose. By being accountable for your actions, you will tend to pay more attention to whether you are taking the actions necessary to meet expectations. You will notice that your performance increases because you need to be accountable for your actions through reporting your outcomes or explaining the consequences of the results you achieved. You will start valuing your work more because it is your heart and soul or sweat and tears invested in the results. Goal setting and setting clear expectations are important in laying out a plan to be accountable with a purpose. When you have a goal in mind, you can set up accountability check points to ensure you are on the right track. Without a clear set goal, you lack direction of what you are working towards. Therefore, it is so important to ink your goals.
Let’s look at finances. If you do not have a financial goal of what you are aiming for, how will you know when you have met it? What are your expectations? What will you sacrifice short-term for long term success? When you are accountable for your finances, you give every dollar a job. You know what money coming in and what money is going out. You may call you credit card or internet company every 3-6 months to see if you can get a better rate. You can look at what is costing you the most money and learn where you can find cost savings. You can make better decisions knowing what your money can do for you.
Let’s take a look at professional development goals. What are areas you want to strengthen? Is there a book you want to read or a course you want to take? Consider working with a coach to keep you accountable and help you uncover where you may be sabotaging your efforts. Again, what gets measured gets managed so you will want to ink the goal.
Being accountable is NOT about pointing fingers or picking sides. It is about OWNING what you have control over and FINDING solutions to get the desired results. It is NOT about pretending to know everything or pretending to be something you are not. You need to be willing to admit when you do not know something BUT you can ask someone or put in the effort to figure it out. You need to drop the excuses and stop getting defensive when someone asks you to take responsibility for your actions.
Have you ever noticed that people get angry or defensive when they do not want to take responsibility for their actions? These people try to deflect responsibility and do not realize that they could be sabotaging their own success because of their lack of commitment. If you make a mistake, own it right away! People are more forgiving if you OWN your mistakes versus deny them. Everyone makes a mistake at one time or another.
Be accountable with purpose. Find an accountability partner – this can be a family member, colleague, or friend or hire a coach to hold you accountable. They can support you as being a cheerleader when things are going well and hold you accountable for when things are not going as planned or you fail to take the actions you said you would. When you start running your business, organization, and daily life with intention and deliberate purpose, you will get the results that you are seeking or something better!
What are you going to do to be accountable with purpose?
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DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com