A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to train several Interstates leaders on accountability. As I was preparing for the training, I did all the normal stuff (found out the goal of the training, considered what I should focus on, identified 2-3 good takeaways, etc.).
After I did all the prep and had the material ready, I stepped back and reflected. I thought about all the times I have attended and all the times I have facilitated accountability training. Then I asked myself one question, "Have I gotten better with accountability?" I think I have gotten incrementally better with it, but I haven't had the breakthrough that I always hoped for. This led me to a decision, I have to have a big mindset shift related to accountability if I really want a leap in my performance.
Before going further, I feel a quick qualifying statement is needed, I am just starting this journey, so I don't have it figured out, YET. Below is my first draft of my mindset shift for accountability.
First, here are some insights from the leaders that were part of the training.
What is Accountability?
- Integrity in our actions
- Taking action through clear ownership and expectations
- Establishing responsibility based on roles, needs, standards and expectations
Why is Accountability important?
- Builds trust and dependability for self, team and clients
- Provides a framework for success
- Allows you to do your best work, and feel a sense of accomplishment
Second, what if I had the same perspective on accountability as I do on feedback (plus/delta)?
The most impactful feedback for me is always what I seek out.
- The reason is that I am already in a teachable state of mind. I am ready to receive it, learn from it, and change my behavior.
- It is about changing myself first, not changing others.
The most effective accountability is asking others to hold me accountable.
- At times, we all fail to hold ourselves accountable. For me, I rationalize my behaviors or why I didn't meet promises/expectations (e.g. I was really busy, I did most of what they wanted, etc.)
What if I ask my best friend at work to hold me accountable? That means they would follow-up with me, ask how I am doing, ask if I need help, and ask if I am on pace to meet deadlines, etc.
- I would be in a better state of mind to ask for the help and advice that I need to be successful and keep my promises.
Imagine if we viewed accountability with a positive mindset and as a lever to be the best version of ourselves? I believe we would be better individuals, teammates and leaders. So, take a chance and ask someone to hold you accountable this week. You will be leading the Interstates Way!
Scott Peterson, Interstates CEO