Benchmark Business Group

Creating an Accountability Structure that Drives Results

November 5, 2012

It’s the time of year when you start to think ahead to your goals for 2013.  Your inbox starts to become filled with newsletters such as ours that talk about the importance of setting goals.  Putting goals on paper is an important step.  They provide you and your business with direction for the upcoming months, but before you set those goals, there’s an important step that many business owners overlook.  That step is looking at the accountability structure you need in place to meet your goals.

Many businesses owners feel as if they are isolated from the rest of the world and believe that accountability within the business stops with them.  They feel there’s no one to talk to when things are not working as planned.  There’s no one to vent to when they are frustrated or to encourage them to take that next step.  There’s no one to celebrate the many small steps they take each day to reach their goals.  Were you surprised the last time you did not meet a goal? The scary answer is probably not. Did you want to meet your goals? Of course, but by not having that measure of accountability in place, the journey becomes long and lonely.  There are a number of ways to establish accountability for yourself with in your business.

  1. Communication: Your staff is an integral part of your business reaching established goals. Meet with the staff on a regular basis to discuss the progress to goal and engage the staff in a conversation that allows them to be a part of the solution. Encourage the staff to be inquisitive about the progress.
  2. Accountability partner: Tiger Woods has had three different coaches over the course of his career. It is not because he doesn’t know how to swing a golf club. It’s because he sets aggressive goals for himself and understands that he needs an outside perspective and someone to hold him accountable to the goals he sets. The same is true in your business. Find an accountability partner that can give you an outside perspective and hold you to the goals you set. This could be a spouse, a peer from inside or outside your industry, a close friend, or take it a step further and hire a business coach. There’s a reason we say, “It takes a coach.”
  3. Take Action: Making the commitment is not enough. You have to take action to integrate the review process. By actively tracking your goals, you will be better able to make changes if you are off track.

Accountability can be established in numerous way and those listed above are only a few. The first Chief of the United States Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot said, "The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for those realities." As you plan for 2013, what have you done to establish the accountability needed to reach your goals?

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