Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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How to be A Personal Accountability Coach

toward-goal“Do something, even if it is wrong,” was my parents’ way of encouraging their children to try, take risks, and take action. Action is better than inaction. Being proactive is better than no action at all. Try. Maybe fail. Do it anyway. Just DO something.

I was lucky.

Many people are trained to be risk-averse, which sometimes means they are so worried about trying and failing that they do nothing. Others feel so overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of everything they have to do that they simply do none of it. They are paralyzed into inactivity.

How do you keep yourself on track and focus? How do you stay accountable?

If you are running a business, you are personally accountable to the growth and development of the business, and you have to coach others to help them stay accountable. If you are not accountable to your customers, your suppliers, and your employees, how do you expect accountability in return?

“Your Customers are Not Tired of Hearing From you – They are Tired of Hearing ABOUT You From You” – David Newman,

Stay in touch with your clients.

One of the main reasons customers switch loyalties and change suppliers (i.e. they leave you for someone else, like a weekly teen-aged break up) is because they do not receive great customer service or appropriate follow-up. It is far more common for customers to abandon a product because of a bad experience with your people than because of the actual product.

If there is a defect in the product, shipping, delivery, or if the customer is unhappy with the post-sales service, then you are accountable to transform it to become better than just acceptable.

Mistakes are opportunities to show fabulous service. Ensure that your company policy accommodates customers and cares for their needs. In the event of poor interaction, accept responsibility and improve the process. Be accountable for your products and the work of those who report to you.

“The Buck Stops Here and I’ve Got Your Back.”

Employees appreciate bosses who stand up for them.

In July, employees took to the streets to picket to keep their CEO employed. Would your workers stand in a street and hold signs extolling your virtues?

What builds such devoted employee loyalty?

1. Being personally accountable to your employees and their professional development.
2. Making good decisions for them and the organization.
3. Listening to ideas.
4. Showing gratitude.
5. Giving credit to people who come up with ideas.
6. Rewarding ideas that have turned profitable.

Great leaders encourage the team to keep fresh perspectives while they as leaders accept the overall responsibility of the team’s performance, both the successes and failures. It is easy to take credit when things go well, but employees need their boss to have their back when things go wrong.

Keep Yourself on Track

Staying accountable means not making excuses, not shifting blame, and not procrastinating.

When you start a business, you give yourself a chance to experiment with your passion or your interests. You are committed, accountable, and responsible for all losses and profits. You make the decisions that are crucial for the success of your business and you are personally accountable for the sustainability of your company.

Be accountable to yourself for yourself. Set expectations for what you want to accomplish. Set goals and milestones, like you would for an employee. Establish timelines. Most people work best when set to deadlines, so give yourself deadlines. Put yourself on a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule for outcomes and results.

Stay accountable for your best success!


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