5 Keys That Boost Accountability

A steadfast accountability is the best antidote to tempering volatility.  It’s really easy today to get off track, distracted, and behind. The demands of being an outstanding worker, a small business owner, or a top professional couldn’t be more demanding today.

golden key

No matter what stage of life or career one is in, we are perpetually juggling, multi-tasking and balancing to try to stay afloat, get ahead, stay ahead and find some time for ourselves.

I have found that a steadfast accountability to my professionalism, a continued commitment to embrace change, while still keeping a sense of humor, are tantamount to dealing with uncertainty and volatility. Things are getting better, but still uncertain and volatile.

Accountability to ourselves, our customers and our networks can keep us on track. Additionally, when we hold ourselves accountable, we usually have a better sense of when we are NOT on track. Rather than re-acting when it’s already too late,  accountability can provide us with the intuition to gauge how our life and career are really going. We can use that intuition to move fast to correct and adjust.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management reports that the positive results of accountability include:

  • improved performance
  • more participation and involvement
  • increased feelings of competence
  • increased commitment to the work
  • more creativity and innovation
  • higher morale and satisfaction with the work

So is there anyone reading this that doesn’t want these benefits?

In his book, The Accountability Revolution, Mark Samuel says:

“Accountability means people can count on one another to keep performance commitments and communication agreements.  Accountability can result in increased synergy, a safe climate for experimentation and change and improved solutions because people feel supported and trusted.”

Here are 5 keys that can boost  professional accountability:

1. Professional Habits - Follow a daily schedule, time block, prioritize, organize, and delegate. Practice discipline.

2. Following a Process - Have a plan for your intentions, goals and direction and be persistently patient with how it unfolds.

3. Flawless Execution - Be consistent with how you execute your  daily process and activities. Be flexible and willing to tweak things as they arise.

4. Consistent Evaluation - Always be reviewing, surveying and getting feedback. Conduct focus groups with your own customers and follow trends.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice - Do all of the things you need to do and are good at that not only  come natural for you, but also the things that you dislike, don’t always want to deal with, and don’t come as naturally to you! Practice, rehearse and repeat what makes you effective and gets results.

Being a great free throw shooter in basketball takes a willingness to shoot hundreds of free throws daily. Practicing the motion and roll off the hand over and over again is what sinks winning shots in the clutch.

Are you willing to practice accountability to win?

  • Take a personal inventory
  • Take better care of yourself
  • Hire a career or business consultant or coach
  • Prioritize and tackle a few things at a time, that can make the most difference

Suit up, show up and speak up ready, willing and able to do your best every day and you set yourself up for the best to happen.

Key Photo via Shutterstock

11 Comments ▼

Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media catalyst. Deborah hosts her Deborah Shane Toolbox blog and her Top 100 Small Business Podcast 2013, Deborah Shane Metropolis. She writes for national sites including Forbes, Monster, Personal Branding Blog and Small Business Trends. Her book, "Career Transition: Make the Shift" is available through all major book sellers.

11 Reactions

  1. David Choate

    Practice really does make perfect. Take those first four tips, get them in order and work at them until they become habit and you’re golden.

    Nice article, Deborah!

  2. Deborah Shane

    Dave, thanks for stopping by. What’s worked best for you?

  3. Great article! We can feel more sure, and see good progress when we remain accountable to ourselves and others.

  4. Sharing your goals with a coach, mentor or other support group greatly increases the chance you’ll succeed. A wise man once told me that “Willpower is a fickle friend” so get a reliable friend to help you out.

  5. Deborah Shane

    Ashley, I certainly do. Being personally committed is one thing, being committed to others is something I take very seriously!

  6. Deborah Shane

    Robert, so true! Most people are not self motivated, or disciplined, period. Having a support system like that is critical on so many levels. I couldn’t have done the last 5 years without that.

  7. Hi Deborah;). Thanks for the value. Willingness to be accountable with what we do and what we fail to do is a good sign of character. Being accountable is the easiest and fastest way of getting the trust and respect of our customers.

  8. Deborah Shane

    Dirk, “mentors” are as old as dirt! Just ask Odysseus, who turned to Mentor for advice on his journey!This community are some of my valued mentors and support people!

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