The Art of Accountability Ouch! It's a tough word; Accountability! Whether you're a seasoned professional or a budding college graduate, we've all experienced a love/hate relationship with this daunting topic. We love its power to catalyze results. We hate its stone cold reality and sting. ACCOUNT-ABILITY! So, it's necessary to pause and realize that success skills require an artistic approach to create something unique and special in one's career. This is notably true with accountability, because, it is an art. So the most logical place to begin is....You. All forms of accountability start and end with, (drum roll please)....Personal Accountability. Oh - It's a simple concept for sure and with minimal barriers...YET, the level of difficulty on the careerists scale is high. Actually, the only barrier to wrestle with is your brain. You know how that can go! But in all seriousness, taking account of your abilities is step one in mastering the art of accountability and ultimately a successful career. After all, how can you hold others accountable if you refuse to levy the same measures on yourself? Answer: You can't! And so it begins. Be quick to look into the mirror first, with a continuous improvement mindset and you will go far! As you make your way through the Accountability journey, you will eventually encounter the second type of accountability; Holding Others Accountable. These "others" that we speak of may be your employees, coworkers, a boss, you get the picture. Remember, holding other accountable is much easier and more effective if you consistently work personal accountability. Otherwise, those that you interact with will quickly see right through you and likely seek you as a career hack - and we don't want that. Mastering the art of accountability in holding others accountable is a game of time, expectations and perseverance. First, in business, time is rarely on our side. You actually need to manufacturer time to make things happen. (Is this possible?) Which is not easy, especially when accountability is perhaps not the most enjoyable task on your list of things to do. However, we are leaders right? This is what great leaders do. Secondly, in order to hold others accountable with fairness, you must set clear expectations and avoid the messy grey area that low performers seek to create. You see, accountability is like kryptonite to low performers. They run from it at every syllable you spill from your mouth. You will encounter an all out defense; dodging efforts, excuses, redirection, and occasionally downright defiance. The good news is that clearly stated and agreed upon expectations can cut through all of this undesirable behavior. Do it today! The third step is perseverance. Nothing is gained with accountability without having strength on your part to hang in there. It is so so so easy to give up. Don't do it! Visualize the final goal and find the inner strength and perseverance to do the right thing. And press your reset button when you pull into the garage at night. This often helps too. Here is the kicker... Why Accountability? This one is easy. Accountability is the seed that makes things happen. It is the seed that raises the bar and improves your service, performance, quality, etc. Accountability makes a difference for customers, coworkers, peers, and you. In your career, accountability is a success skill. When mastered effectively, you too can be an accountability artist.
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