Accountability makes all the difference
Accountability is a crucial skill that I teach to everyone I lead or work with.
Why? Because if you stay consistently accountable, you’ll always be STRONGER than your excuses.
Accountability builds trust, it improves relationships, it reinforces trust, and it helps people perceive you as the sort of leader you should want to be.
No one expects you to always have all the answers, or to never make a mistake. Honestly, if someone never makes mistakes, then that probably means they’re never trying to do anything.
Yes, to err is human, and to forgive is divine, but it’s much easier to forgive when you’re owning your responsibilities at the moment.
These are the four simple but powerful steps that I would teach to anyone who demands more accountability for themselves.
The goal here is to make progress, to take a bad situation and learn from it, improve upon it, and move forward with life down a path that leads to greater success. You can’t accomplish any of these things without forgiving yourself.
Hating yourself and dwelling on what’s already happened is a natural instinct, but it’s an instinct that is focused on the wrong direction, and therefore needs to be unlearned.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be reflective or that you shouldn’t show remorse for certain actions — you most certainly should — but making this the sole focus in these situations doesn’t leave room for what needs to be done to make things better.
Listen, you attracted this situation into your life, so it’s on you. Stop playing the blame game. It’s not going to get you anywhere, and it’s certainly not going to help the other people connected to these situations see you in a positive light.
Owning up to your mistakes means you’re being thoughtful of your behaviors. Being thoughtful of your behaviors means you can find ways of doing things better next…
And improved, more considered actions will always lead to better outcomes. Stop pointing fingers. Own it. Move on.
Apologize, if the situation calls for it
There are few things that show a greater strength of character than being able to apologize when the situation calls for it.
Do you realize how many conflicts in life could end sooner and lead to greater things if more people could swallow their pride, look the other person in the eye and simply say, “I’m sorry.”?
These words, when delivered thoughtfully and sincerely, have diffused more bombs than the US military, but due to fear or pride, just don’t get used as much as they should. Be the bigger person. Apologize. And do better next time.
Okay, so you made a mistake.
You’re not dwelling on negative thoughts about yourself, you’re owning your role in the error, and you’ve apologized for what you’ve done.
Now what? Course correction!
What do you need to do in your life or your work to ensure that this mistake never happens again? If you’re not focusing on how to change a habit, behavior, or process, then these mistakes will continue to happen over and over again, but there’s a key difference at play now.
You can’t in good faith categorize these actions as mistakes any longer. Now, you’re just being negligent in your behavior. You’re showing that you don’t care enough to put in the time to make things better. This is where you lose all credibility.
Forgiving yourself is good. Owning your behavior is admirable. Apologizing is appreciated. Making the appropriate adjustments is crucial, especially if you want to be perceived as a person of character, someone who can lead and be trusted.
You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be accountable
No one is expecting perfection. Perfection is just an idea you can strive toward, but it’s a process of experimentation, learning, and growth, which means you’ll always make mistakes along the way.
That’s why I don’t focus on perfection. Instead, I focus on goals — personal, professional, and financial goals — the type of goals that will lead to you and others around you living lives only others can dream of.
Are you the type of person who lives with this level of intention and accountability? Do you want to be? I’ve scaled hundreds of successful companies. I can help yours, too.
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