What Is Real Accountability?
Accountability starts with you. The most important part of being held accountable is that you consent to it. When you consent to accountability, you are inviting others to be a part of your improvements. Typically in any situation where you are inviting people to help you improve, you should first respect and value the other persons opinions. Because placing value on their advise is important, you must also value yourself equally as you value the helpful persons advise. If you do not value yourself as important as their advise, then you will not be inclined to take it or accept future “check in’s” from them on your rate of progress with their help. It all starts with you valuing yourself and accepting help.
Accountability starts with the process of allowing another to advise you on the best course of action for change and to support you throughout the process of it. Accountability is the consent to another person or organization being involved in your process of change. To promote a culture of accountability, it is imperative that you, the leader, are also being held accountable because leaders define cultures. What leaders know is that accountability is ongoing, it never ends. To be a leader, accountability is part of the job. People who want to escape accountability, do not want to change, to not evolve, to not have self growth, in essence they are looking for an easy way out. Again, people must give consent to be held accountable.
In order to avoid building resentments in the person you are holding accountable, the accountability must be consistent for one and for all. Accountability can never be a “favorites” game. If you are holding more than one person accountable, be very careful to hold all parties accountable to the same accountabilities and refrain from being selective. This of course would promote a culture of selective accountability, which is inconsistent and defeats the purpose of it being something people can count on as part of their future success. People want to feel confident and secure about their coming change and entrusting you with accountability. Consistency resolves the fear of insecurity.
To further ensure the person or people you are providing accountability to have everything they need to succeed, ASK THEM! Make sure they aren’t missing any tools or knowledge for their success. Sometimes people are too afraid to ask for help, or they don’t know anything is missing from there plans for success till there is enough communication. Communicating with your accountability partners is the key to success. Effective communicating is the key to success in any relationship. Accountability partners have an extra responsibility to each other to provide open, honest communication about status or success or failure. The only way there can me improvement is through evaluation first and for humans that means communication. If people don’t have what they need to succeed, they wont ask for accountability, they wont succeed.
Accountability is ultimately a strategy for success. It takes time, consistency and concentration. You cannot tell someone they are accountable and then leave them alone. Accountability involves scheduling regular times to check in, regular communication, review of your progress, evaluation and suggestions for improvement. Accountability is a team effort that always starts with you saying yes to change. The rewards are always well worth the work.