Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Accountability & Potential-A Winning Combination

Happy New Year! Are you looking forward to 2013 as much as I am? Today, I am starting out with a chat about accountability and I look forward to your thoughts on the topic. 

How often do we hear, read or say: “they/he/she should be held accountable”? What does this really mean and how important is it to our personal success and to the success of a business or other organization? When something goes wrong or is not done when and as it should be the ‘hold “X” accountable is the rallying cry. Too often though it is others that we seek to hold accountable. “I did what I was supposed to; I went above and beyond” are comments that are often heard by those wanting to assure us that they took accountability seriously and this latest problem “is not their fault”-but “X” needs to be held accountable. Finger pointing and criticism too often accompany accountability so it is little wonder that we may feel self-protective when that happens. Yet accountability is likely one of the most freeing and effective methods of achieving our potential.

In the executive coaching certification program one key point that is reinforced throughout the program is that of accountability; that no matter what anyone does or does not do, if you want to overcome your challenges, you must be one hundred percent accountable for the outcome. This can seem a little daunting at first, after all, we can’t control other people, so what does being one hundred percent accountable mean? This point is also one that is reinforced in the Striving Styles Personality System Roadmap process, that clients hold themselves accountable for the progress they make and to take the necessary actions to achieve our potential.

Accountability is a topic that I dealt with frequently in my previous work, one that almost always left me thinking that there had to be a better way to link accountability to intrinsic motivation. It also made me more sensitive to my own level of accountability and aware of when I wasn’t being one hundred percent accountable-those moments when my willingness to accept full responsibility was overshadowed by a stronger urge to deflect that responsibility. Even when I was rationalizing these moments the little flag that tends to remind me that off loading accountability is not the best way to achieve my potential refused to let me entirely off the hook. When this happens we tend to expend energy ineffectively and overcoming challenges and meeting or exceeding our goals becomes that much more difficult.

In my coaching practice accountability has a very important role to play in both my success and the success my clients will achieve. Combining my experience in working with others on accountability in organizations, plus my new understanding of how we can make accountability work for us through my coaching certification process and the Striving Styles Personality System methods offers a much more effective and positive way to achieve our potential through accountability.

Where do you stand on accountability in your work right now? Do you ever feel frustrated in trying everything you can to achieve your goals but seem to keep running into roadblocks caused by circumstances or other people? Does your hard work result in less than expected results?

It is likely that accountability will show up in this blog throughout the year, I hope you join me in exploring a positive view of accountability.