Accountability is a word often spoken and written among professionals. Many people believe accountability is a key trait to have as an entrepreneur and in reality, it is. However, rarely do these professionals who share the need for accountability take a true look at what it means to be accountable. In this week’s #TuesdayTip blog I take accountability to the next level and discuss how you can develop and maintain accountability.
What is Accountability?
In short, accountability is being responsible for your actions. As an entrepreneur and writer, there are many people you need to be accountable to, but let’s make things easier. Everyone we must be accountable to falls into three basic categories: Yourself, Personal Contacts, and Professional Contacts. So who are these people and how do we maintain accountability within each area?
First and foremost we have to hold ourselves accountable. But what do we need to hold ourselves accountable for? The very foundation of our lives is built from our core values. Everyone holds a set of values near and dear to them and holding ourselves accountable to our values is essential. In fact, accountability is a core value; is it one of yours? Have you clearly laid out your values? As an entrepreneur and a writer, it’s necessary to make sure we are clear on the values we hold close. These values are as wide and varied as each individual, and it is okay! In fact, having different values allows us all to better connect with others and accomplish goals and projects.
The second type of accountability is being accountable to our personal contacts. This includes our family, our friends, and other people in our personal relationship circle. This type of accountability comes in many forms. Are we meeting our duties as a parent, a spouse, a friend? Do we show up to support our friends, maintain a positive home life, and share responsibilities around the house? Maintaining accountability to our personal relationships is crucial or we run the risk of facing the world alone.
The third area of accountability is our professional accountability. This includes being accountable for any work-related projects, work relationships, clients, colleagues, and other people and jobs. If we commit to the goal of writing a book we are accountable for our actions which leads us to accomplish our goal. If we have a client project, do we put it off until the last minute or do we take initiative to finish it in a timely fashion? Do we maintain good working relationships with our colleagues?
How To Maintain Accountability
With three levels of accountability it can be difficult to maintain accountability across all three levels. However, when you are clear on your why and your core values, accountability priorities fall into place. When you look at your accountability priorities first and foremost it’s important to fulfill your individual accountability. Without being accountable to yourself and your own ideals, you will never be able to hold yourself accountable to your personal or professional relationships.
Once you successfully maintain your individual accountability you can then begin to work on your personal and professional relationships. Here is where you must take a look at your ideals and core values because taking too much time with either of these draws too much time away from the other. Be sure you maintain the accountability you offer to your friends, family, and clients.
Doing so might mean saying no to a friend’s get together or you might have to turn down a client project. These decisions are difficult, but having the proper values in place helps you guide your decision-making process.
Maintain Accountability, Maintain Sanity
When you take the time to understand your why and your core values, you can more effectively maintain accountability across all three levels, individual, personal, and professional. Be sure to continue working on your accountability so you can maintain a proper balance in your personal and professional lives.