Great leaders accept responsibility for delivering the results that matter to them and their organisation. They do not hide behind excuses, scapegoats or indecision. Rather, they harness the multitude of resources they have at their disposal to turn desires into realities.
Bruna Martinuzzi has offered the following tips on how you can become a successful accountable leader.
1. Taking time to reflect on how your actions are viewed by all stakeholders: your direct reports, your peers, your clients. Go through a formal 360 Leadership Assessment process or simply get hold of a leadership assessment form and use it to reflect on how others in your team would rate you on each dimension.
2. At the end of each day, take the time to go over your day.
Think about the significant activities in your day. Are you proud of the way you conducted yourself? Could you improve? This will inspire you to plan your next day around your highest purpose. Getting into this habit of introspection will pay dividends in the long run.
3. Decide to hold yourself accountable for developing other leaders. By mentoring a protégé to enhance their personal and professional growth, you strengthen your own leadership skills and reinforce your determination to be self-accountable as you become the model.
4. When something goes wrong, look inwardly for solutions. It is especially in difficult times that our self-accountability is challenged. Ensure you are well equipped to deal with challenges and controversy.
5. When a mistake is made, do you ask: “Whose fault is it?” or do you say: “What can we learn from this?” It is important to move away from the blame game and take ownership of issues.
6. Think about promises you make to new hires during the interviewing courtship period. In our zeal to want to attract the brightest and most talented, we can easily over promise. Keep a record of your interview notes and what you promised to candidates. If subsequent events make it impossible to keep the promises, at least you can address them with the individual. This is better than forgetting about them altogether.
7. What about promises you made to yourself? Write out your personal and professional goals with clear targets. Read them once a week. Use these to spur you into action.
8. Think about what you are avoiding doing. Is there anything that you are avoiding doing that needs to be done? For example, are you putting off a difficult conversation? Are you delaying any important decisions? Are you delegating away responsibilities that should stay in your court?
Self-accountability, then, is staying true to ourselves despite difficult circumstances. It’s doing the right thing even when we are tempted to bend a few rules for expediency’s sake.