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ACCOUNTABILITY: If it’s what you need, why do you avoid it?
July 6, 2009 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments
One of the core tenets of no-compromise leadership is, “if it needs to get done – get it done.” It’s truly a simple concept that cannot be argued. Yet, the term “accountability” is tossed around like a hot potato that few want to take ownership of. Everyone wants it. Everyone expects it. The question is, why is accountability such a challenge for leaders and the cultures they are “accountable” for? Why is it that things that need to be done, don’t get done?
In Part One of my No-Compromise Leadership book, I wrote extensively about “leadership blockages” and internal operating systems. Leadership blockages are best described as those situations that trigger discomfort levels that ultimately lead to procrastination. Be it fear, insecurity, self-esteem issues or the need to break out of your comfort zone, leadership blockages ensure compromising behaviors in leaders. Internal operating systems represent your collective thinking and beliefs that autopilot your behaviors as a leader. Just like you upgrade your computer’s operating system to gain more power and capabilities, leaders must upgrade their operating systems with new thinking and higher-level beliefs in people and what’s required to achieve their full potential.
No compromise is a 100% commitment to getting things done. Compromise is something less, much less. Compromise thinking and behavior are the self-imposed speed bumps and stuck-in-your-box constraints that keep you in your current “box” of limited opportunity. Accountability to get things done, no matter how challenging, is the foundation that no-compromise leaders stand on. Accountability is unwavering. Accountability distinguishes world class from average.
Here are some no-compromise thoughts to keep accountability embedded in your thinking and behavior:
- Every commitment is a contract: Breaking commitments breaks trust. If you say you’re going to do something, do it – and do it on schedule. If situations will cause delay, communicate with those on the receiving end of the contract. Accountability and trust only exist when both are present.
- Identify what triggers you to compromise: When you encounter situations that trigger avoidance and procrastination, shift into no-compromise mode and engage. The longer you avoid or procrastinate on decisions, tasks or situations that cause you discomfort, the more difficult it is to engage.
- Manage your time: It’s hard to be accountable when your plate is overloaded. More importantly, focus on priority issues first. It’s amazing how many leaders can get real busy working on low-level projects and tasks. Knock off the big stuff first.
- Get an accountability coach: Getting a coach or mentor that is committed to helping you stay accountable is actually a huge step to becoming a no-compromise leader. If you have a track record of dropping the ball and being inconsistent, you need a coach or mentor. If you just felt a “trigger” of discomfort, that little voice inside you just told you to find an accountability coach.
Accountability is a practiced behavior that gets better the longer and harder you work at it. As a leader, accountability is a non-negotiable.
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO and author of N0-Compromise Leadership
Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up