The Accountability Mindset
Brothers Eddie and Freddie were playing catch in their house when a ball hit Mom’s vase, shattering it into a million pieces. When Mom saw it she said, “Who is responsible?” She knew that they both were. Mom then said, “You are both being held accountable.”
What did this mean? Instead of just an apology, the boys had to use their allowance money to buy a new vase. They took steps to resolve the problem, and were therefore accountable for their actions (they also never played ball in the house again).
Responsibility vs. Accountability
You just completed a long, detailed report. While proofreading, you realize that you used incorrect graphics throughout. There are two choices: Spend time replacing them, or email it to another department for corrections.
Simply acknowledging a situation is not the right fix, being ultimately answerable for your actions leads to successful outcomes. This is a learned mindset, but when practiced, it turns you into the professional you strive to be.
Accountability = Taking Ownership
Accountability is the difference between managing yourself and having someone else keep you on task. It is about taking ownership; a sign of leadership that sets you apart. Businesses want employees that think entrepreneurially, meaning that they don’t need to be guided to get work done. You are the captain of your domain and your commitment level will be obvious, especially when the time comes for promotions, raises, more responsibility, and respect.
So how can you find the motivation to do difficult things? By amplifying the urgency of your mission and knowing why it matters. Personal branding expert Dorie Clark outlines steps for implementing accountability:
- Think about what kind of person you want to be. What kind of impression do you want to leave people with?
- Consider the consequences of no accountability vs. taking leadership on a project.
- Seek positive examples: remind yourself of times when you’ve taken a leadership role.
- You need not do everything all at once – that is overwhelming. Focus on the individual steps.
- Understand that everyone gets bored sometimes. Stay on task for valuable results.
- What matters most to your company? Ask questions; do research. Consider your long-term career growth, and prioritize work that will improve your future
- Be honest about your availability. It’s essential to be clear about what is realistic.
- Recognize that you have to make hard choices: be willing to let some things go.
No More Excuses! It’s Time to Take Charge
The most successful people identify their excuses early by realizing if it is an obstacle or an excuse. Brainstorm solutions and work around the challenges. Follow through on activities and agree to projects that you must complete. Remember, the critical word in “Holding Yourself Accountable” is yourself .
These guidelines will help you to embrace your accountable identity throughout your life:
- Find the best technology to track and prioritize your tasks
- Find an accountability partner. This should be someone you trust and respect.
- Overcome failures by understanding them to avoid reoccurrence.
WANT TO WORK WITH A TEAM WHO HOLDS ITSELF ACCOUNTABLE?
At Advanta, we hold ourselves accountable for all of the work we produce, no matter the scope of work. Our detail-oriented team members maintain strict quality assurance testing throughout every phase of every project. Here at Advanta, we treat every job like it’s our only job!