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How to Be A Better Leader via Personal Accountability

Alan Andersen

What keeps you in your rut? What is slowing you down? In what area do you struggle most? It could be that you need to work on your Personal Accountability competency. Leaders that test strong in the skill of Personal Accountability do not make excuses for their poor decisions instead they take responsibility and focus their attention on correcting the problem at hand.  A person who with a low sense of Personal Accountability will seek to blame others for their failures in order to protect their public image. These leaders will rationalize their poor behavior and suffer from acute self-awareness.

William Brooks notes a few basic principles of Personal Accountability:

  • Successful people do things that failures don’t like to do.
  • People will rise to the level of high expectations.
  • Practice is an essential element of commitment to excellence.
  • Be true to your word and honor your commitments, even when you don’t want to.

We all struggle in this area and we all need to work on it. The first step is Awareness and the second step is Humility to want to change. The third is Action so keep reading and I believe you will walk away with your personal A-HA moment

Personal Accountability can be assessed and measured. At True Life, we use the TriMetrix report to help companies assess this competency in the hiring process as well as their management training programs. Unfortunately, leaders at the top somehow skip this training as they rise so quickly to the top. Could it be your time to work on this competency is now?

Brooks shares 10 ways you can develop the skill of Personal Accountability: 

  1. Set your own goals, professional and personal then tie your goals to the organization’s key missions and values. Work daily on those goals
  2. Make commitments and keep them. Do not make promises you can’t keep.
  3. Be available to employees, peers and managers if they need to discuss difficult issues. Show that you can be trusted by NEVER betraying their confidential information.
  4. When facing a difficult decision, analyze different alternatives, consult with appropriate individuals within your organization, then take decisive action on whatever decision you make.
  5. Be prepared to explain your rationale. Be open to others’ reactions and help them come to terms with your decisions if they don’t agree with it.
  6. Learn from the wisdom of others – ask people you trust for their opinions and value their advice.
  7. If you make a mistake, admit it. Then work immediately to put the fire out!
  8. Once you have remedied a problem, analyze the mistakes you made. Think about how you could have handled things better and work to implement your new ideas into your daily life.
  9. If you are over committed or truly can’t handle another new task, say “no.” If your manager demands that you pursue a new goal, make sure she understands how it will affect earlier directives you were given.
  10. Don’t shoot the messenger of bad news.

What action can you take today to work on your personal accountability? Share it below

Your Coach,

This article previously appeared at True Life Coaching, a subsidiary of Shandel Group. If you enjoyed this post, read Shandel's book, Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.

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