The word ‘accountable’ gets thrown around a lot (even by me), but what does it actually mean? It isn’t a table that accountants work on (and I do apologise for that joke). Accountability is the principle that you are responsible for your actions and, ultimately, your situation. It means taking ownership of your decisions and being prepared to accept the consequences, be they positive or negative. And for leaders in particular, it means setting an example that you would like others to follow.
With the new year in full swing, now is the perfect time to reflect on our leadership styles to see if we have been accountable for our actions/decisions and did we role model accountability for our team members. In a recent post, Andy Albright challenges us to focus on accountability for 90 days – to do what we say we will do, and to lead our teams by example. And there is no reason why this should only apply to work; think about how you can be more accountable to your friends and family (even if it means following through on those half-hearted dinner commitments you made over Christmas!)
A commitment to be more accountable is more than just another New Year’s resolution. It’s something that you can do at any point in the year, and in fact you should test yourself regularly. Actively and regularly seek feedback from your peers and your team and ensure that you own your mistakes, as well as your successes. Be honest, and above all else, lead by example!
Happy New Year!