Accountability can be a scary phrase for many leaders.
It’s often associated with failure. You tried something. It didn’t work, and now you’re responsible for the outcome.
However, that’s not entirely true. While holding yourself accountable is taking responsibility, it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate leadership. You accept that you’re not going to get everything right. But you’re also not afraid to try new ideas.
So how should you hold yourself accountable? How can you change your mindset, so you don’t associate it with failure? If you’re not sure where to start, try this guide.
Define a Mission Statement
You don’t need to write an essay, but you should have some kind of statement that you can use as your true north. This is how you’ll determine what ideas you will try and what ones you will park.
A mission statement can also hold you accountable by ensuring you stick to it. If one of your strategies doesn’t work, then you should assess whether it aligns with your mission statement. If it doesn’t, then either the idea should have never been executed, or you need to review your true north.
Keep it in Writing
One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable is by writing everything down. What’s even better is if you have a hard copy that you can display. Keep it somewhere where you can see it, and your team members and colleagues can too.
This demonstrates that you’re committed to this cause. It also helps others when they approach you. They know not to come to you with something that deviates from the mission statement or your strategy. You might even find they will tailor their style to match your accountability plan.
Reward Milestones and Review Opportunities
You should be regularly reviewing what you’re holding yourself to account. It’s a good idea to uncover opportunities that will help you grow as a leader and improve the performance of the team.
At the same time, you should also celebrate milestones. Don’t dismiss these. It can end up in lower morale with your team and throw your plans into jeopardy.
Seek Feedback From Others
Another great idea to hold yourself accountable is by seeking feedback from your direct reports, colleagues, and manager. There are many ways you can do this and several techniques that are effective.
You can ask them what you should start, stop and continue doing. You could also try the continue and consider method. No matter what you choose, ensure you seek feedback and action it appropriately.
Why You Need to Hold Yourself Accountable
There are many reasons why you should yourself accountable. The most important of them all is that it will earn you respect from your direct reports, peers, and manager. If you can demonstrate that you take responsibility for more than just the things you get right, you’ll be recognised as someone who people can trust.
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