Tips for Creating Accountability

By Carleigh Lowe Wednesday, October 7, 2009

At the American Express Open Forum there is a great post on creating accountability in the work place. Below is an excerpt:

As business owners with 42 things to do to get through the daily grind, not to mention long-term business goals to pursue, most of us are constantly seeking new ways to create accountability – to drag ourselves (kicking and screaming, if necessary) to the finish line.

Here’s five ways to build accountability into your daily routine:

1. Declare goals publicly. This functions on many levels. In terms of an entire company, it could mean publicly stating an ambitious goal and tying it to a date. In terms of individuals, it can mean declaring your goals in front of those you respect – your team, your inner circle of friends, or your family. The moment that you tell someone else you ARE going to do something, an outside gravitational force takes hold, making you feel more duty-bound to reach your objective.

2. Share your planning documents and to-do lists. Whether it’s a timeline with project milestones or a regular old list of to-dos, sharing your working documents transparently with your team builds trust and increases accountability. Essentially, it’s a passive way of publicly stating your agenda and creating a powerful accountability mechanism for getting things done. If your colleagues notice you are constantly missing milestones, they’ll start asking questions.

3. Rewire your focus on short-term rewards. We love instant gratification, which is why it’s so much easier to get the small, no-brainer to-dos done than the big tasks that require deep focus and hard thinking. We can spend our whole day just responding to emails, while we neglect the long-term future of our businesses. Rewiring is about finding ways to take pleasure in the long haul required to truly achieve great tasks and cause real change. We can’t get rid of our desire for short-term rewards, but we can be aware of it. The first step is identifying your long-term goals, and setting up a series of short-term rewards that keep you moving towards – and accountable to – those goals.

 

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