If you are just starting your own home-based business, you may not fully understand the intent of this question. Then again, if you have a full-fledged business that is gaining momentum, you may still not quite grasp the full meaning of this question. Many times in business-building there are so many moving pieces, that an organized and reflective approach to assessing your progress becomes lost in the chaos.
So, let’s take some time out now, wherever you are in your business, and reflect on this important concept. Accountability. What does it really mean to you? Many people immediately think about reporting in to someone else to discuss your progress. While this is certainly part of it, it is not the whole. Accountability is such an important foundational component of a successful business that is warrants a much deeper dive.
Accountability, in it’s broadest sense, can be viewed in sections. There is accountability to the following: 1) yourself, 2) your executive management or boss, 3) your teammates whom you lead, 4) your customers. Taken even more holistically, I would also add: 5) your family, 6) your friends, 7) your community (local and global). Clearly 1-4 deal directly with your business. Sections 5-7 are equally as important to sustain a balanced and fulfilling life, but for the purposes of this article, we will deal with the business components only.
Holding yourself accountable is first and foremost. You must have integrity to yourself. If you cannot honor your word to yourself, you will certainly not be able to honor your word to others. Your ability to hold yourself accountable is a direct reflection of your self esteem and self worth. If you struggle with identifying your value to yourself, to others and to society, you will most certainly struggle with keeping your word and promises to yourself. If you find yourself in this situation, I highly encourage you to delve into some quality personal development programs to strengthen your self esteem and confidence. We all struggle with self esteem at various times in our life. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Simply recognize it, then commit to taking action to improve the situation. For, only when you have solid self esteem, are you able to truly hold yourself accountable to the level that is necessary for business success.
Next, holding yourself accountable to your senior authority is important. Depending on your situation, this could be senior executives in your company, it could be a sponsor, or it could be a boss if you are in an employed position. Clearly, demonstrating respect for them is essential. Having integrity and fulfilling on your promises is essential for you to progress in your current career path. If they are effective supervisors, they will encourage you to regularly meet with them to discuss your goals and your progress. It is precisely this system of accountability that can radically improve performance. Done improperly, or extremely rarely, or not at all, can produce dismal results. Believe me, I have seen too many businesses get so caught up in the chaos of day-to-day busyness that they skip over this accountability step. Without exceptions, these businesses always pay a heavy price for such neglect. If you have a say in the matter, please ensure that regular accountability gets built into the system.
Next, accountability to your teammates and those you lead is equally important. Just as we discussed with your seniors, it is now your chance to ‘pay it forward’. Accountability sessions provide a perfect framework to offer praise, coaching, constructive criticism, and sharing of ideals and motivation. Accountability can be such a powerful concept if used correctly. Since you are the leader of your team, it is up to you to set the precedent. I encourage you to set it right, and encourage regular accountability sessions with key teammates. Then, teach them to duplicate this with their teammates as well. This is exactly how winning businesses get built.
Lastly, accountability to your customers and prospects must be included. Many people don’t quite consider this as a piece of accountability, but it absolutely is. Whatever promises you make to them, you absolutely must fulfill. Your integrity is what will define the success you have. By holding yourself accountable to them, you are fulfilling your role to them. In many ways, you could also argue that you should strive to hold them accountable to you, whenever possible. Certainly, you don’t have control over them. But, you can gently push them and challenge them to raise their bar. For those who respond positively to this, then you understand that these are people who you may one day want on your team. If they are customers, by gently pushing and challenging them, you are bringing out the best in them and you are able to serve them better.
There’s much more to discuss on accountability, but that is plenty to get started. As noted, I encourage you to regularly step back, reflect, and ensure you have good accountability systems in place. If so, then go forward with the system and make yourself proud as you realize how you, your team, and your company radically improves.
No related posts.