The ACCOUNTABILITY Challenge for Today?s Business Management

In today's 24/7 driven business word, accountability is becoming a more critical issue for every business owner, manager, executive and salesperson. The challenge is to realize that accountability is just not a single issue, but an issue with many supporting elements. To maintain and thrive as an accountable individual first requires overcoming the fear to embrace these elements and then a plan of Action to ensure that YOU are an accountable individual.

Action ? What action or actions did you take or not take and why? Since many individuals have been conditioned not to take action or are stuck in "analysis/paralysis," accountability suffers because no specific action has been taken.

Commitment ? Are you truly committed to doing what it takes? As a good friend and mentor once shared that the U.S. has a multi-billion dollar diet food industry. However, he continued "If individuals would engage in walking 30 more minutes each day, drink 8 glasses of water, reduce their daily food intake and avoid known fatty foods, would they or would they not lose weight? The answer is yes there would be weight lost. So, why is there a multi-billion dollar diet industry? The answer for most simply lies within the level of commitment of those individuals.

Choices ? Are you making good choices such as prospecting, networking or professional development ? Growing your business is directly dependent upon the choices that you make. Are your choices growing your business or limiting your business?

Opportunities ? Are you creating new possibilities for success? With so many ways to build your business, what opportunities will generate for you greater success? Look at each networking event as an opportunity to enhance your business. Set goals for meeting new people. Analyze the outcomes from those events. Consider forming strategic alliances with others to improve your business results.

Understanding ? Do you understand yourself? Are you aware of your own strengths and feelings? Do you know how to leverage those strengths? How do you deal with your feelings? By better understanding what you what, what behaviors will help you achieve your goals, how you feel and what values are necessary to maintain your credibility, will bring additional benefits to your business as well as to yourself.

Numbers ? What are your weekly numbers? The old adage goes if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Today's technology provides a variety of tools to help you manage your daily performance numbers. By developing your own baseline for success such as 100 dials equals 20 contacts creating 10 appointments delivering 2 sales, you establish some mental boosters to help you stay focused and motivated.

Time ? Are you making the most of your time? Time is a fixed commodity. By using down time, the time between appointments or phone calls, you can greatly enhance your results. For example, you can write 5 more emails, read 5 more pages or file 5 more pages.

Alignment ? Are your actions in alignment with your purpose? Do you know what your purpose is? Your purpose along with your vision, values and mission statements act as filters and help you to make better decisions. For if the pending issue is not in alignment with your purpose, why are you even considering this issue?

Building Behaviors ? Is your accountability a one time thing? Inconsistency derails many individuals and organizations. "Walking the talk" is critical to building a culture where you are respected for your demonstrated actions. Accountability then becomes your friend and not your foe.

Internalization ? Are you working from the inside out? To be truly accountable, means that your actions are coming from your inside convictions and not just from some recent external event. Internalization also helps to strengthen the consistency of your actions.

Learning ? Do you view failure positively or negatively? John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward explains how failure is an opportunity for success. If you permit failures to drive your behavior, you have lessened your own likelihood for success. Each day should present to you a new learning experience from which you can grow both personally and professionally.

Integrity ? Do you demonstrate your values at all times? For example, will you take action when you know a situation is wrong or will you ignore the situation because you don't want to lose a sale?

Team ? How can you help others be more accountable? Today, proactive teamwork is a greater part of American business. Teams help achieve greater success, but sometimes team members lack some of the necessary skills. We often hear of the 20% of the team doing 80% of the work. Are your behaviors helping others to be more accountable or are your behaviors allowing others to shoulder more of the workload?

YOU ? Bottom line, it is all about YOU, no buts, no excuses!

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is President of ADVANCED SYSTEMS, The Process Specialist. With over 25 years of business and education experience, she partners with her clients to connect the 3P's of Passion, Purpose and Performance to affect sustainable change in 4 key areas: financials, leadership, relationships and growth & innovation with a variety of industries. Her ROI solutions align the strategies, systems and people to develop loyal internal customers leading to loyal external customers. She is the co-author of M.A.G.I.C.A.L. Potential:Living an Amazing Life Beyond Purpose to Achievement due for June 205 release. Leanne also speaks nationally to a variety of audiences. Please call Leanne a call at 219.759.5601 or email [email protected] if you are seeking sustainable results for your business or yourself.

Copyright 2005 Leanne Hoagland-Smith, http://www.processspecialist.com

Permission to publish this article, electronically or in print, as long as the bylines are included, with a live link, and the article is not changed in any way (grammatical corrections accepted).

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