-By Dr. Cheri Rainey
Accountability is the first “A” in our Rainey Leadership Learning “REAAL” alignment strategy series.
In a world buzzing with buzzwords, “accountability” has emerged as a standout contender. The modern workplace often echoes with familiar refrains – “Hold yourself accountable,” “Team accountability is crucial,” “Accountability breeds success.” Yet, amidst the corporate jargon and motivational speeches, the true significance of accountability can sometimes get lost.
So, let’s hit pause for a moment and ponder: do we truly comprehend the significance of accountability, or is it just another corporate phrase that garners nods and glances? More importantly, what’s really in it for you regarding being accountable?
Picture this: a place where accountability is your trusted ally, steering you towards a brighter, more accomplished version of yourself. But how do you get there? Here’s a glimpse of what awaits when you embrace the power of accountability:
1. Greater Confidence and Self-Esteem. Keeping your word holds real significance in life and in business. When you own your actions and decisions, you inevitably build a reservoir of confidence. Knowing that you can deliver on your commitments and responsibilities bolsters your self-esteem. It doesn’t matter if the task is menial and boring; if you say you will get something done, do it, because it builds credibility, trust, and self-accountability. The pride that comes from honoring your word becomes a driving force, encouraging you to take on new challenges and difficult tasks.
2. Enhanced Organization. Accountability walks hand in hand with organization. Setting clear goals, tracking progress, and meeting deadlines become second nature. Remember, when goal setting, it’s crucial to establish a timeline, which you can truly follow and meet. This gives you a realistic strategic outline to stick to and a means to gauge whether you’re diligently progressing toward your objectives. With a heightened sense of responsibility, you fine-tune your planning skills, ensuring that your endeavors are well-structured, executed with precision, and delivered on time.
3. Better Time Management Skills and Less Wasted Time. Accountability is a time-saving wizard. When you’re accountable, you prioritize tasks, eliminate distractions, and allocate time efficiently. Procrastination takes a back seat as you recognize that every minute counts. Practicing accountability will allow you to achieve more in less time, freeing up moments for important activities that matter and ones you enjoy.
4. Improved Relationships. “The first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust.” In the workplace and beyond, accountability is a catalyst for trust. When you consistently meet your commitments, colleagues and friends recognize your reliability, positively influencing their level of reliability, as well as their trust in you. When you consistently deliver on your commitments, your colleagues and peers can’t help but take notice. This trust forms the foundation of stronger, more meaningful relationships, fostering camaraderie and collaboration.
5. More Effective Communication. Accountability has a huge impact on communication. It compels you to articulate your thoughts, concerns, and progress transparently. As you take ownership of your role in projects, your ability to express yourself succinctly and constructively flourishes. This, in turn, fuels efficient collaboration and minimizes misunderstandings.
Remember, accountability is not about assigning blame or identifying shortcomings. Rather, the blame game is a tired dance that accomplishes little. It happens; we change our minds, miss deadlines, and sometimes even butt heads with a co-worker. But blaming our actions on others rarely works to resolve things efficiently, honestly, or permanently because it misses the mark on the root cause.
Instead of pointing fingers and dwelling on mistakes, accountability invites a no-blame culture; it’s a pivotal force that can reshape how we navigate both professional endeavors and personal aspirations. It creates an environment where everyone acknowledges their role in outcomes, both positive and negative. The focus shifts from finding faults to finding solutions – a mindset that ignites innovation and growth.
Ultimately, accountability is not just a buzzword; it’s a transformative mindset. Embracing accountability empowers you to regain control over your actions and, consequently, your future. As you step into the realm of accountability, you’ll find yourself harnessing the power of your potential, reaping the rewards not only in the workplace, but in everyday life. Accountability is an invitation to rise above mediocrity, to stand tall in your commitments, and shape your journey toward success, one responsible step at a time.
Would you like to be a better leader? Contact us about leadership training that can advance your career and business.
Dr. Cheri Rainey is the CEO/Founder of Rainey Leadership Learning, partnering with leaders to support the entire employee life cycle.