Success: It’s All About Accountability

We’ve All Been There

When I was 3 or 4 years old, I slipped a roll of LifeSavers into my bloomers (yes, I wore bloomers) while my mom was checking out at the grocery store. I had begged her to buy them for me, and when she declined, I took matters into my own hands.

Once home, I hid the treats in my dresser drawer, but my sweet tooth got the best of me. As I ran in and out of my room, sneaking LifeSavers one at a time, my father quickly caught on. I was busted!

Before long, I was back at the grocery store, paying for my crime and learning a valuable lesson about accountability. My actions were my responsibility, and mine alone.

success-accountabilityWho owns your results?

As we come to the end of the year, you’ve probably spent time reviewing your business results. You may have presented to the board, met with your boss or advisors, or done your own personal reflection on how you did, what went well, and what didn’t work out.

Who did you hold accountable for the results?

When things go well, and I hope they have for you this year, it’s easy to celebrate. But no matter how great your year has been, there are probably a few things that you wish turned out differently.

The Accountability Factor

Fast forward to today and my work with leaders who are accustomed to success. When it doesn’t come, the temptation to abdicate responsibility and blame others looms large.

We all like to think we do our best and it’s easy to assume that when something goes wrong, it’s someone else’s fault. Blame falls easily on a vendor, an employee, or some force outside the organization.

Are market conditions and competitive pressures a consistent reason for not performing? Do you say, “We didn’t have enough time” or “There wasn’t enough money” or “I didn’t know….”

As leaders, those excuses don’t work.

We’re accountable for our results, even for projects that we’ve handed off to someone else. Maybe they screwed up, they were ineffective or they encountered unexpected challenges. “Stuff” happens.

Whatever the reason, the results are our own.

We decide who to work with, we set objectives and make decisions that lead to the results that we get. If we don’t like what we see, it’s up to us to make the changes necessary to get things back on course.

That could mean changing a staff member or partner, or possibly looking in the mirror to reflect on our own leadership skills.

There’s always room for improvement somewhere, even if you exceeded your goals. (In which case, it’s time to take on some new challenges or raise the bar a bit.)

As we move into 2015, what can you do differently to improve your results next year?

Could you or your team benefit from:

  • More consistent communications
  • Clear direction
  • Greater clarity on objectives 
  • Proactive encouragement and support
  • Being more focused and in the moment
  • Creating a shared sense of purpose

Pick a few things to work on and be diligent about adopting these disciplines in the new year. Then, 12 months from now, you’ll have even more to celebrate.

Note: If you need some help zeroing in on the areas that will yield the most dramatic improvement, give me a call at 678-823-8228. I’ll help you create the clarity and focus you need to deliver exceptional results.

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