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Accountability and Success

Sam Silverstein said, “Accountability is the basis of all meaningful human achievement.” We can all make incredible goals, but if we don’t have anyone keeping us accountable, who’s to say that we’ll actually do what we said we would accomplish?


We are at the point in January where resolutions have already fallen by the wayside because the vision has vanished, we aren’t putting in the work, or we just can’t find motivation or inspiration. Accountability addresses all of those.


Accountability is significant for you and your team because it builds trust. Being accountable to something means that you’re choosing to make commitments and be responsible for your own actions. That’s a fast track to trust.


Accountability will improve performance. People are much more likely to avoid unproductive behavior and distractions because you and others will be more serious and disciplined about your work.


Accountability causes us to value our work and promotes ownership. Accountability’s positive feedback and corrective actions teach that behavior and actions have an impact on the team. We learn to have a sense of ownership in what we do.


Accountability inspires confidence and skills. Accountability is not controlling. You are looking to provide appropriate support, feedback, suggestions, the right amount of autonomy, and challenge everyone to help with better solutions for the whole team.


Accountability keeps you from falling prey to the victim role. It keeps you aware of the personal choices you are making that lead to consequences. Accountability can handle your Inner Critic, which can hinder you without outside intervention. Blaming gives away your power.


Accountability expands your ability to problem solve or resolve the root cause and move forward consistently toward your desired outcome. When responsibility is married to accountability, you can take full ownership of your life and lead your team to the same desired space.


Remember, accountability is building a culture of trust, not fear and control. The leader’s goal is not to punish but to look for errors and mistakes. You look for ways to effectively share feedback, improve on solutions, reward productive behavior, and remove unproductive ones.

The leader must hold himself/herself to the highest level of accountability. When one is accountable, he or she accepts responsibility for his or her actions and the results of his or her choices in life. The key is taking ownership for your part in the process, being accountable for what you can control, and accepting what you cannot.


On a team, it is the accountability factor that is the glue that holds everything together. When accountability is in place, the team functions as an accountable support group, with most likely an accountability partner. Having a partner, the team generally works very well together. This accountability team will…

  • Empower you to acknowledge, accept, and understand your responsibility.

  • Assist you to come up with smaller, attainable goals or steps to the big target.

  • Hold you accountable to the list of actions required to hit the target and set a time limit for each task.

  • Remind you when action steps are not completed and achieved by deadline dates.

  • Keep you on course toward achieving your long-term goal.

Accountability is not about perfection. It’s much more than admitting a mistake. It is fully owning what happens in your life and on your watch. It means you understand that each team member is responsible for their attitude, actions, reactions, teamwork, communication, and relationships. It also means that each holds the others accountable for the commitments and effort they give forth.


You can see that when you choose to be accountable you empower yourself to be part of a solution, building trust, resolving issues, and gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and those you work with. When the leader is willingly and proactively accountable and sets up systems for it, everyone feels better in the long run even if it’s a painful process because it builds self-esteem and makes true teamwork possible. There is nothing more powerful and motivational than seeing challenges as opportunities, solving problems, and fixing mistakes.

Accountability is the secret key that unlocks the door to personal and team success. Start today. Tomorrow will find you in a stronger and more satisfying place.

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